The Riches of South Africa
where luxury meets rainbows
Cape to KwaZulu-Natal & Johannesburg
Thursday, September 18, 2023
17 Days / 16 Nights
Wednesday, October 4, 2023
Explore The Rainbow Nation
• History: San Bushmen, European Settlers, Cape Malay, Apartheid
• Natural World and Conservation: Table Mountain, Garden Route, Big Five
• Personal Stories: Frank Mbete, Albie Sachs, James Fernie, Lara Mostert and Local Artists
• Giving Back: Uthando South Africa & Inkanyiso Nursery School
• What’s Next…South Africa: Townships and Urban Regeneration Success Stories
Join Educational Travel Service and Champlain Tours for a once-in-a-lifetime exploration of “The Rainbow Nation.” We’ll explore the historic port city of Cape Town and meet local legends from the Apartheid Era, which saw Nelson Mandela spend 18 years imprisoned on the famous Robben Island within sight of the city. We’ll also take in some of the natural wonders of the Cape and visit some of the innovative community development projects in the modern townships with the award-winning Uthando South Africa non-profit.
Traveling East along the coast, our trip is timed for the spectacular whale season in the “Whale Capital of the World”, Hermanus, and we’ll learn about wildlife conservation in Knysna before spending a few nights on safari in the renowned Addo Elephant Park. Flying to Durban, we land in the heart of Zululand, a tribe who earned renown for their fierce warriors and whose tribal roots still run deep in this part of the country. Returning to the wilderness, we’ll spend a few nights at a private wildlife conservation reserve and check in on the pre-school that ETS continues to support.
Finally, we head north to Johannesburg where we visit the Apartheid Museum, Hector Pieterson Museum and Soweto to reflect on everything we have experienced and end our adventure with an urban regeneration success story - Maboneng, meaning ‘Place of light’, is a fully integrated urban neighborhood and an excellent an example of What’s Next…South Africa.
Please note that included meals are noted as “B” for breakfast, “L” for lunch and “D” for dinner. Meals not listed are on your own.
Meet our Guide: Frank Mbete
Frank grew up in Soweto, Johannesburg during the period of apartheid. He was educated in South Africa and abroad. He has worked with International Red Cross all over the world.
Frank knows the tourism industry inside out. He’s worked in tourism for well over a decade, as a tour guide, travel agent, logistics consultant and all-round Mr. Fixit. He knows the inbound foreign market as well as he knows the domestic market. Frank is based in Cape Town but regularly crosses the length and breadth of Southern Africa, sharing with visitors a country he loves. South Africa is a fascinating and complex country. He adds, “We have amazing natural beauty and fascinating people who represent diverse cultures, religions and races”.
Frank believes that tourism is about empowering his people by spreading the benefits as widely as possible. “We identify people in the community who need work; we train them to become drivers and many of them go on to become guides. Several of the people we’ve brought into the business have gone on to work overseas.” He is passionate about education, the environment, and human development.
Frank looks forward to welcoming us at the airport and sharing his country with us!
DAY 1 - Arrive Cape Town
We will be met upon arrival into Cape Town International Airport and assisted through customs and immigration then transferred to our hotel at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. Situated between Robben Island and Table Mountain in the heart of Cape Town's working harbor, the V&A Waterfront has become one of South Africa's most visited destinations. Aside from the myriad of shops, restaurants and bars, there is a more cultural side to the Waterfront, focused around the historic Clock Tower, which was the original Port Captain's Office in 1882 and part of a collection of well-preserved turn of the century buildings. It is near here that the ferries depart for Robben Island (from the Nelson Mandela Gateway), while the Two Oceans Aquarium is a short walk from here. With ferries and boats continuously on the go, Cape Fur Seals playing in the harbor water, and a mix of both locals and international visitors, the Waterfront is a wonderful place to soak up some typical Cape Town vibe.
This evening at 6 PM enjoy local South African wines and canapés at our hotel for a chance to meet Frank and our tour leaders as well as our Cape Town-based consultant, Nicole Perring.
Overnight The Portswood Hotel. Meet & Greet.
The Portswood Hotel
The Portswood Hotel
The PortsWood is part of Cape Town's colonial history. The restaurant and lobby are built over the original well and holding cells for prisoners en-route to Robben Island some 300 years ago. Today the PortsWood is famous for its uniquely personal approach to service. All rooms are decorated in a nautical style, and have individual air-conditioners, television, tea/coffee making facilities, direct dial telephones and hair dryers.
DAY 2 - District 6 Museum & Uthando Projects
This morning meet in the lobby at 8:00 AM and start the day with an introduction to our tour themes and a basic overview of South African history with Frank. Then we head out to visit to the District 6 Museum in Cape Town, where we will be shown through the museum by a knowledgeable docent or curator. This is Cape Town's apartheid museum and represents the memories of a community on the outskirts of Cape Town where over 60,000 people were forcefully removed from the mid 1960's to the mid 1980's. This visit allows us the opportunity to discuss what led to apartheid in this country and to discuss how it was implemented.
From the museum, we stop at a local favorite coffee shop, Truth, for some refreshments before we travel to the townships to explore some of the projects under the Uthando umbrella, led by the Uthando founder, James Fernie.
The uThando tour program offers a unique and authentic introduction to the social problems confronting so many millions of South Africans, while also illustrating the innovative and inspirational ways in which they are being handled by these marginalized and destitute communities. Very importantly, the projects are not treated as tourist attractions and the tours are designed in such a way as to educate, inform and inspire, while also respecting the dignity and privacy of the people concerned. The projects are, after all, places where people live, work and in most cases, just survive.
James Fernie, Founding Director at Uthando
James Fernie is a passionate social entrepreneur and founding director of the Responsible Tourism Initiative. His unique model of travelling philanthropy, Uthando (Love) South Africa, was established by James in 2007.
A law graduate from The University of Port Elizabeth (UPE), James started his career as a paralegal at Clifford Chance, a very large corporate law firm in
London. James returned to South Africa in 1997 and qualified as an attorney at Cape Town law firm Francis Thompson and Aspden. However, with a restless desire to travel coupled with a deep passion for South Africa, James changed paths and pursued a career in international sales and marketing in the tourism industry.
In 2006 James recognized the enormous potential of the tourism industry to contribute in a meaningful and substantial way to community/environmental development and charitable causes. Uthando was thus born with the goal of creating a vital bridge between these sectors. Consequently, Uthando has won numerous local and international awards recognizing the unique and innovative model of travelling philanthropy, whilst also becoming a powerful brand in the tourism industry globally. James has a deep sense of compassion and a strong intuition regarding the urgency of profound and dramatic change in the paradigm of our human society.
We will stop for lunch in one of the local “shebeens” and around 4:30 PM we will return to our hotel. This evening we have our Welcome Dinner (location TBA).
Overnight The Portswood Hotel. BLD.
DAY 3 - Winelands
This morning we have a leisurely start, meeting at 11 AM for the scenic drive, about 45 minutes, out to the Cape Winelands. Our first stop is La Petite Ferme, overlooking the stunning Franschhoek Valley, where we enjoy lunch complete with wine pairings! After lunch, we head down into the valley to visit the village of Franschhoek. Billed as the Gourmet Capital of South Africa, this charming town, in a most picturesque valley, retains a French Huguenot style back to the 17th century when the French Huguenots fled France and settled in this fertile valley.
At 4 PM we meet again for the 10-minute transfer down the road to Leeu Estates for a tutored wine tasting and then return to our hotel.
Overnight The Portswood Hotel. B, L and one seated wine tasting included.
DAY 4 - Prisoner to President
This morning we meet at 8:30 AM for a trip through history; weather permitting, we have tickets for the 9 AM Robben Island ferry to see where Mandela, and so many others, spent years imprisoned. From the 17th to the 20th centuries, Robben Island served as a place of banishment, isolation and imprisonment for prisoners, including Nelson Mandela. Today it is a World Heritage Site and museum, a poignant reminder to the newly democratic South Africa of the price paid for freedom.
After the ferry we will break for lunch then meet our walking guide for another look at the city through Mandela’s eyes. Cape Town was Nelson Mandela’s “home” for three decades, and it played a pivotal role in his journey from prisoner to president. This afternoon’s historical walk covers approximately 2km of the historic and cultural heart of Cape Town and brings to life the journey Mandela took
from his conviction in 1964 at the Rivonia Trial until his current status as a global icon of bravery and freedom.
Late this afternoon we have been invited to meet with legendary activist Albie Sachs.
Albie Sachs, Humanitarian Activist
A distinguished lawyer, judge, anti-apartheid political activist and one of the architects of the new, post-apartheid, South African Constitution, Albie has made it his mission to travel the world, spreading understanding of the path the New South Africa is forging.
On turning six, during World War II, Albie Sachs received a card from his father expressing the wish that he would grow up to be a soldier in the fight for liberation. His career in human rights activism started at the age of seventeen, when as a second year law student at the University of Cape Town, he took part in the Defiance of Unjust Laws Campaign. Three years later he attended the Congress of the People at Kliptown where the Freedom Charter was adopted.
He started practicing as an advocate at the Cape Bar at age 21.
The bulk of his work involved defending people charged under racist statutes and repressive security laws. Many faced the death sentence. He himself was raided by the security police, subjected to banning orders restricting his movement and eventually placed in solitary confinement without trial for two prolonged spells of detention. After the first democratic election in 1994 he was appointed by President Nelson Mandela to serve on the newly established Constitutional Court.
In addition to his work on the Court, he has travelled to many countries sharing the South African experience in healing divided societies. He has also been engaged in the sphere of art and architecture and played an active role in the development of the Constitutional Court building and its art collection on the site of the Old Fort Prison in Johannesburg.
Overnight The Portswood Hotel. B included.
Please note that the ferry is weather dependent.
DAY 5 - Table Mountain
Today we begin our journey at Table Mountain National Park; we will take the cable car up to the top of the mountain to take in the sweeping views before descending back to the city and the up and coming neighborhood of Woodstock. We have timed our visit to take in a popular, award-winning market full of fresh, artisanal, seasonal and locally sourced produce including local artists and designers selling their wares.
This afternoon we continue on to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, which is acclaimed as one of the greatest botanic gardens of the world. Few gardens can match the sheer grandeur of the setting of Kirstenbosch, against the eastern slopes of Cape Town’s Table Mountain. Kirstenbosch places a strong emphasis on the cultivation of indigenous plants. When Kirstenbosch was founded in 1913 to preserve the flora native to the South Africa’s territory, it was the first botanical garden in the world with this ethos, at a time when invasive species were not considered an ecological and environmental problem. It’s spring in South Africa and we expect many of the unique fynbos to be in flower!
Overnight The Portswood Hotel. B included.
Please note that the cable car is weather dependent.
DAY 6 - Hermanus, Garden Route
Pack your bags and head out on the Garden Route to Hermanus, driving east along the coast. Many imagine a land of manicured gardens, while the Garden Route is actually a 300 km area of natural beauty with its Indian Ocean coastline, dense indigenous forests, dramatic ravines, lagoons and Outeniqua Mountains.
Archaeological evidence found at the nearby Klipgat Cave shows that the Khoi-San werethe earliest inhabitants of the area, but the town of Hermanus was originally founded in the early 1800’s, by a shepherd called Hermanus Pieters and the protected bay was named after a Royal Naval officer called Walker.
Today the charming town has earned the status of being the best land-based whale watching destination in the world. Southern right whales visit Walker Bay from June through to December when the world’s only Whale Crier blows his kelp horn to alert the town when the whales are spotted. The whales use the sheltered bay to calf, and it is not uncommon to see pods of 50 or more in the peak months, with whales occasionally coming as close as 50 meters to the cliffs.
We will arrive at our hotel in the late morning; lunch is on your own. We recommend Selkirk’s, right in our hotel!
This afternoon we have the opportunity to experience a close encounter with the Hermanus whales by joining us on an informative and educational whale watching trip. (Weather Permitting)
The whale watching trip begins with an on-land briefing led by our whale specialist guide before heading down the jetty to our catamaran. We then set off from the Hermanus New Harbour in search of the ‘gentle giants.’ The purpose-built catamaran provides superior viewing and comfort and during the Hermanus whale tour the friendly, knowledgeable crew add that personal touch allowing for an all-round great experience, from ensuring the perfect photo opportunities are not missed to serving complimentary light refreshments.
The Whale Specialist guide will interpret the marine life encountered en route and provide insight into the behavior of the whales while you are watching them in action. Our videographer will ensure that the best footage is captured. On return to land, peruse the local craft and souvenirs available, order your USB movie of the tour which is immediately ready or simply relax at our outdoor seating on the edge of the Quay with reading material on all things whale. There is also coffee and tea available and complimentary WIFI.
Later this afternoon we’ll return to our hotel and the rest of the days is on our own. There are many lovely little restaurants in easy walking distance from our hotel; we recommend Bientang’s Cave, La Pentola and Fisherman’s Cottage.
Overnight Harbour House Hotel. B.
Harbour House Hotel
Harbour House Hotel enjoys a prominent position in the heart of Hermanus. From the stunning, historical architecture of the slate roof, seaside Manor House built in 1920, to the contemporary New Wing situated above reception and Harbour Square Rooms and Suites are located within walking distance to reception with a rooftop pool. All rooms feature light modern décor with luxurious furnishings and are within walkingdistance from the town’s top attractions including sophisticated restaurants, markets, street cafés and whale watching sites.
Harbour House Hotel’s in-house restaurant, Selkirk's, is undoubtedly one of the best breakfast and lunch spots in Hermanus. Enjoy freshly baked scones as you overlook the ocean on a crisp Hermanus morning or indulge in some of the tastiest dishes form our seasonally changing lunch menu. Most of our produce is sourced locally in Hermanus and surrounds, and our wine bar offers a great selection of local wines.
DAY 7 - De Hoop Nature Reserve & Knysna, Garden Route
We’ll depart at 8 AM today and drive along the Garden Route to De Hoop Nature Reserve. Few other reserves offer as complete an outdoor experience as De Hoop – sea, sand dunes, the vlei, a floral sensation of rare fynbos plants, diverse antelope and the Potberg Mountains. We will stop here to stretch our legs and explore as well as pick up our packed lunches before continuing on to Knysna.
The word Knysna comes from the Khoi-San language and it is thought that the word refers to the Knysna heads, which guard the entrance from the lagoon to the Indian Ocean and which are perhaps the most
famous feature of this naturally beautiful town.
Situated at the heart of the Garden Route, the town was established on the shores of an estuary and it is surrounded by lush indigenous forests, making Knysna
a wilderness of beaches, lakes, mountains,
forests and rivers.
Here can be found the endangered Knysna seahorse, the famous Knysna Loerie bird, the endangered dwarf chameleon, the Brenton Blue Butterfly and the highly elusive Forest Elephant. The town itself is a vibrant mix of artists and craftsmen, as well as waterfront restaurants, making it one of the most appealing towns in the country.
We will arrive around 5 PM and your dinner is on your own; our hotel boasts Knysna’s smallest pub, The Bell, where casual meals can be enjoyed on the patio, or around a blazing fire on wintery nights. The bistro serves wholesome dinners in stylish surrounds.
Overnight Belvidere Manor. BL.
On the western shore of the Knysna Lagoon, the pretty Belvidere Estate spreads out over tranquil grounds, surrounded by indigenous forest. Dating back to the 19th century, the Georgian-style buildings offer country charm, a fresh home-away-from- home feel, and the outdoors spaciousness and scenic beauty of this appealing area. 28 individual cottages are positioned on lawns which slope down towards the lagoon. Each cottage has its own en-suite bathroom, living room, kitchen and verandah with garden or lagoon vistas. Rambling roses and enchanting gardens overflow with bird- life and the appealing sounds and scents of nature.
DAY 8 - Birds of Eden & Elephant Sanctuary, Plettenberg Bay and Paddle Boat on Knysna Lagoon, Garden Route
We meet at 9:00 AM and head to Monkeyland, the world’s first free roaming multi-specie primate sanctuary. This unique facility has become one of the top ecotourism attractions on the Garden Route. Monkeyland aims to create awareness about the plight of primates and is responsible for preparing previously caged primates for their eventual release into the sanctuary. The monkeys are not caged and are free to move about the forest, so the emphasis is on searching for them and the reward is to see the various species in a natural habitat. We will also visit Birds of Eden, the world’s largest free- flight bird aviary (50 metres high, covering 23,000 square meters of forest).
Birds of Eden houses more than 3,500 specimens of more than 280 species, with the focus being African birds. We are hosted by Isabel Wentzel, the group curator at Monkeyland and former head of the NSPCA wildlife division.
Lunch is on your own and there is time to explore; The Blue Monkey Café is located on the Monkeyland Grounds.
Lara Mostert, Co-Founder of Monkeyland
Lara studied advertising in Cape Town for 4 years, followed by a short course in tourism. She went to work at Inyati Game Lodge in Sabi Sands Mpumalanga 1995 and this is where she met up with partner Tony Blignaut (the sanctuary group CEO). Lara and Tony started Monkeyland April 1998, which was followed by Birds of Eden December 2005, the Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary August 2012 and Monkeyland KZN April 2019. It is a dream of Lara and her partner to provide safe havens for wild animals and to encourage responsible wildlife tourism which discourages wildlife interaction.
Lara will speak and lead a discussion with us about what responsible wildlife tourism is and why it’s important.
We’ll return to the hotel at 3 PM in the afternoon and early this evening we’ll head out to The Paddle Cruiser, offering a unique and unforgettable dining experience on the Knysna Lagoon. Cruise in style on the Lagoon to the famous Knysna Heads aboard this unique paddle-driven vessel; we’ll leave at sunset and return under the stars.
Overnight Belvidere Manor. BD.
DAY 9 & 10 - Addo Elephant Park
Meet in the lobby at 7:45 AM for a quick cup of coffee or tea and to pick up our packed breakfasts before the approximately 5-hour journey along the final leg of the Garden Route to our first safari lodge. We will arrive in time for lunch and some time to unpack before an afternoon game drive. Details on meals and game drive times will be explained on check-in.
The Addo Elephant National Park is set deep in the Sundays River valley region of the malaria free Eastern Cape. This is the third largest National Park in South Africa, established in 1931 to protect the last remaining 11 elephants in the area – and it is now a sanctuary to over 600 elephants. The marine reserve is home to the world’s largest breeding population of Cape gannets and second largest breeding population of African penguins. The landscape is made up of dense valley bushveld and hardy Karoo scrub bushes, which make for excellent spotting of the elephant, Cape buffalo, black rhino and a variety of antelope species.
Enjoy night drives to spot the black-backed jackal, be woken by the call of the francolin or search for the unique flightless dung beetle, which is almost exclusively found in Addo.
Morning game drives include a tea/coffee stop halfway and sundowner game drives take place late afternoon. For optimal viewing, a powerful spotlight is used when night falls. Additionally, night drives depart after dinner (please discuss with your guides). Experience the night coming alive; who knows you might even get to follow some lions on a hunt! Cosmic safaris (weather permitting) are an interesting and intriguing journey into the African night skies.
Another activity option is a 2-hour excursion to view some newly discovered San paintings which have been dated back 400 years. Please note that this hike is physically challenging as it requires climbing.
Two nights Kuzuko Lodge. BLD each day.
Also known as the "Place of Glory", Kuzuko Lodge is built high upon a hill in a private section of the northern part of the malaria-free Addo Elephant Park. It is here where breathtaking views from your private veranda, are complemented by luxurious chalets and warm, attentive service. During the day, you can look out over the Karoo Plains and Zuurberg Mountains, and at night you can look up at a canopy of a million stars.
Each of the 24 chalets has a private deck, en-suite bathroom with bath and separate shower, color television, direct dial telephones, digital safes, data cable point with cables available, mini-bar and tea/coffee making facilities. The main lodge has been designed with floor to ceiling windows, allowing unbelievable views of the natural surroundings. The spacious lounge offers complimentary Wi-Fi, where you can choose to relax in front of the fireplace in winter or enjoy the magnificent views in summer. The spectacular view from the infinity edge swimming pool is the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail or a heavenly foot massage. Like everything at this lodge, The Wellness Centre boasts a breathtaking view of the big 5 Karoo Park below.
DAY 11 - Fly to Durban, KwaZulu-Natal
Enjoy one last short game drive before it’s time to meet at 9:00 AM for our approximately 2-hour drive to Port Elizabeth Airport. Our flight departs at 1:20 PM and arrives into Durban at 2:35 PM. From the airport outside of Durban, our hotel is only about a 20-minute drive to the suburb of Umhlanga.
The KwaZulu-Natal north coast, also known as the Dolphin Coast, stretches north from Durban to the mighty Thukela River. This Indian Ocean coastline of warm waters is rich in marine life as its name suggests, and boat excursions bring close encounters with bottlenose dolphins, which are visible close to the shore all year round. The north coast is famous for its golden beaches, good restaurants and pubs in seaside towns as well as historic battle sites.
This region is a mixture of Zulu and Indian cultures, reflected in the settlements started by indentured Indian laborers on the many sugar cane farms, and in the rich political history in and around Groutville, where ANC president and Nobel laureate, Albert Luthuli, lived and is buried. Umhlanga Rocks is the premier resort town on the coast, with good swimming beaches, a lively town center, coastal walking paths and plenty of shopping opportunities at Gateway, South Africa’s largest shopping area.
Your dinner is on your own tonight; we recommend The Fish Umhlanga or Little Havana in Grenada Square! Please ask the front desk or concierge for walking directions or a car.
At 7 PM we will reconvene at the hotel for a brief talk by Frank about his own tribe, the Zulus, and the rich and complex history of Durban and the Boer War.
Overnight Protea Hotel Durban Umhlanga. B.
Protea Hotel Durban Umhlanga
This 3-star hotel in Durban is your gateway to golden beaches, lush surroundings and the exhilaration of holidaying in an idyllic part of South Africa. Our modern hotel in centrally located in the heart of uMhlanga Rocks, situated 18 km from King Shaka International Airport, just a few minutes from the beach and 10 minutes to Durban city center. The hotel offers friendly service, comfortable accommodations and most of the hotel's 225 modern rooms feature breath-taking sea views and are all elegantly and stylishly furnished. The Lighthouse Breakfast Restaurant & Bar is situated on the ground floor, adjacent to the reception hall, and offers delicious breakfasts. The restaurant is open from 6:30 AM to 10:30 AM. The bar is open from 2:00 PM to 11:00 PM.
DAY 12-14 - Thanda Game Reserve
This morning we have some time to relax before we meet at 9 AM for the approx. 3 hour drive to the wilderness at Thanda Private Game Reserve, arriving in time for lunch and some time to unpack before an afternoon game drive. Details on meals and game drive times will be explained on check-in.
Since the reserve’s inception, Thanda’s aim has been to restore natural balance to the area by bringing back the species which were endemic to the area.
Originally purchased as degraded cattle farms, rife with alien plant species, Thanda’s wildlife management has concentrated on an extensive rehabilitation project which included reintroducing the Big Five. Thanda was also the first private game reserve in KwaZulu- Natal to have successfully reintroduced a breeding pack of wild dogs within its borders. Early morning and late afternoon game drives in search of the elusive Big Five are conducted in open Land Rovers under the supervision of knowledgeable rangers and trackers. Ignite your imagination and open your mind to the hypnotic drumming that sets the rhythm of authenticity.
On one of our afternoons we will go out into the local community, where we donate funds to help develop the Inkanyiso Crèche (nursery school). This visit will be between game drives so we don’t miss any time on safari, and we will have the opportunity to meet with community leaders and perhaps visit a school as well.
Three nights Thanda Tented Camp. BLD each day.
Thanda Tented Camp
The tented camp has been built in colonial safari-style with fourteen luxury tents, each with viewing decks and en suite canvas bathrooms. Public facilities at the tented camp include an attractive reception area, a curio shop, a lounge area for guests to relax in, an enhanced dining tent, a 10x5 meters rim-flow pool and a new boma. There is a beautiful new bush spa, which is run and managed by Africology. Thanda’s tented camp is a completely non-electrified bush experience, but the camp is equipped with a generator which will power the tents for a few hours each day so that guests are able to charge cameras and phones in the privacy of their tents. Even when the generators are running, lighting is minimal, and the natural atmosphere of the tented camp is enhanced through boma fires and paraffin lanterns.
DAY 15 - Fly to Johannesburg
This morning rise early for one last game drive or enjoy a leisurely morning at camp before we depart at 9:15 AM our approximately 1 hour and 40 minute drive to the Richards Bay Airport. Our flight to Johannesburg departs at 1:10 PM and lands at 2:15 PM. We will be met on arrival and transfer to our city hotel. This evening is on your own. Our hotel is located in the vibrant Melrose Arch center, an open-air gallery with shops and restaurants.
Johannesburg was built from gold and diamond mining, dating back to the 1800’s, and the city’s local name, Egoli, means The City of Gold. Today Johannesburg is the powerhouse of Africa and home to the continent’s busiest airport. Johannesburg is a wealthy and fast-paced city and is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world.
After everyone settles into the hotel, we’ll
meet at 5 PM for an introduction by Frank to
Johannesburg and the historic Soweto
uprising. Then we’ll board the bus and head to our farewell group dinner at a local favorite, Milk Bar.
Overnight Fire & Ice Hotel Melrose Arch. BD.
Fire & Ice Melrose Arch
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 variety of retail, gourmet restaurants & leisure amenities. Each room offers LCD televisions, open plan bathrooms and an urban style. The in-house restaurant offers breakfast, lunch & dinner daily, with sumptuous cuisine in an intimate and relaxed dining environment. The Bar serves specialty cocktails and gourmet milkshakes, in an energetic and lively setting. Protea Hotel Fire & Ice Deli On High Street adds to the coffee culture that is very evident in this part of Jozi.
DAY 16 - Soweto & Johannesburg
We will meet in the lobby at 9:00 AM for a very thorough tour which gives us an excellent insight into South Africa’s colorful history. Once we get on the bus, our knowledgeable guide, Frank, starts with an introductory talk on South Africa, its people, its languages and a political synopsis of events leading up to Apartheid in 1948 – and beyond. We visit Liliesleaf Farm, the scene of the Rivonia Raid in 1963, where the leadership of the ANC was caught plotting the military overthrow of the South African Government.
After Liliesleaf, we will also visit Constitution Court and the Fort, which was converted to a prison. Here we can see 'Number 4' prison, which was where the political activists, including Nelson Mandela, were held, giving you a chilling picture of how South Africa treated its criminals. The Constitution Court is one of the most sophisticated courtrooms in the world. Here we may have a chance to sit and listen to the proceedings of the highest court in the land.
Then make our way to Soweto where we will have lunch at a local restaurant and to visit the Hector Pieterson Memorial.
The Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum, situated in Orlando West, Soweto, commemorates the role of the country’s students in the struggle against apartheid. The two commemorative sites are just a few blocks from where 12-year-old Hector Pieterson was shot in 1976.
Late this afternoon we will return to the hotel. The rest of the evening is on our own to relax and repack; there are a myriad of restaurants in the Melrose Arch complex, please ask the front desk for recommendations.
Overnight Fire & Ice Hotel Melrose Arch. BL.
DAY 17 - Fly to Johannesburg: Apartheid Museum, Newtown, Maboneng & Depart
We will meet at 8 AM to check out of the hotel then head out to visit The Apartheid Museum and explore one of the thriving cultural centers in town. The Apartheid Museum, the first of its kind, illustrates the rise and fall of apartheid. An architectural consortium, comprising several leading architectural firms, conceptualized the design of the building on a seven-hectare stand. The museum is a superb example of design, space and landscape offering the international community a unique South African experience.
Just to the east of the city lies an urban regeneration success story - Maboneng meaning ‘Place of light’ is a fully integrated urban neighborhood, home to several independent retail, restaurants, loft apartments, offices, film studios and creative factory spaces. Arts on Main is one such creative space, consisting of artist studios, galleries and retail spaces. Visit MOAD, the first museum dedicated to design and a traditional healer’s market - said to be one of the oldest in the city.
We will be hosted in Maboneng by a local artist, who will also join us for lunch and talk about their own experience growing up in this neighborhood and their hopes and dreams for the future of Maboneng, Johannesburg and South Africa.
Late this afternoon, we will meet our luggage at the airport and check in for our departing flights. BL.
Please note that international flights must depart no earlier than 8 PM; additional overnight in Johannesburg available upon request.
Your package includes:
Regional flights in South Africa
16 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 8 dinners (including welcome and farewell dinners)
$1,000 Group donation in your name to the Uthando, Thanda school and Monkeyland Sanctuary
Tips & gratuities (Tour Manager, Local guides, drivers)
Deposit Protection: Non-refundable deposits will be transferred to a new date for non-insured circumstances
Wine & Canapé Meet & Greet on the first night
Private guide services of Frank Mbete for entire itinerary Porterage at hotels
Complimentary Wifi at The President Hotel, Harbour House Hotel, Belvidere Manor and Kuzuko Lodge
500 MB per day/per room WiFi access at Protea Hotel Durban Umhlanga and Fire & Ice Melrose Arch Hotel
Airport transfer Cape Town Airport to The President Hotel
Transport in air-conditioned vehicle with driver and guide in Cape Town and surrounds
Full day uThando tour including entry fee to the District Six Museum
Half day Franschhoek/Cape Winelands visit including wine pairings with lunch and one seated wine tasting
Tickets to Robben Island for guided tour
Private walking tour “Prisoner to President”
Excursion to Woodstock Market, Table Mountain and Kirstenbosch Gardens
Shuttle between The President Hotel and the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront at prearranged times
Transport in air-conditioned vehicle with driver and guide from Cape Town through Garden
Route to Addo Elephant Park and to Port Elizabeth
Shared Whale Watching boat excursion in Hermanus
Lunch and entry fees at De Hoop Nature Reserve
Entry fees at Birds of Eden and Monkeyland Sanctuaries
Dinner Paddleboat Cruise on Knysna Lagoon
Park and conservancy fees for Addo Elephant Park
Four-course dinner, brunch, early morning tea/coffee, welcome drinks on arrival and high tea at Kuzuko Lodge
4 shared game drives at Kuzuko Lodge
1 optional nature walk or hike at Kuzoko Lodge
Transport in air-conditioned vehicle from Kuzoko Lodge to Port Elizabeth Airport
Transport in air-conditioned vehicle from Durban King Shaka Airport to Protea Hotel Durban Umhlanga
Transport in air-conditioned vehicle with driver and guide from Protea Hotel Durban Umhlanga to Thanda Reserve
Park and conservancy fees for Thanda Game Reserve
Tea, coffee, juice and water with meals and house wine with dinner at Thanda Tented Camp
Local beverages (soft drinks, house wines, local spirits and beers) on game drives at Thanda Tented Camp
6 shared game drives at Thanda Tented Camp
Laundry services at Thanda Tented Camp, limited to one bag per room
Airport transfer Thanda Tented Camp to Richards Bay Airport
Airport transfer ORT Johannesburg International Airport to Fire & Ice Melrose Arch HotelSoweto & Johannesburg private tour including entry fee to Hector Pieterson Museum
Entry to Apartheid Museum and Tour of Maboneng
Airport transfer Fire & Ice Melrose Arch Hotel to ORT Johannesburg International Airport
Educational Travel Service & African Safari Company consultation and planning services
● 5 nights Portswood Hotel
● 1 night Harbour House Hotel
● 2 nights Belvidere Manor
● 2 nights Kuzoko Lodge
● 1 night Protea Hotel Durban Umhlanga
● 3 nights Thanda Tented Camp
● 2 nights Fire & Ice Melrose Arch Hotel
Modified international flights (credit provided for alternatie departure airport)
Optional activities at additional cost at Kuzoko Lodge
Premium alcoholic beverages and all drinks other than noted above at Thanda Tented Camp