South Africa: Coast to Kalahari13 days & 12 nights, Private Journey
Handcrafted itineraries for one or more travelers with on-the-ground support, a private guide, and a private vehicle. Private Journeys represent the best of the custom programs we've designed over the years. Our insider knowledge and destination expertise make these innovative journeys truly unique experiences.Private Journey
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Day 1Arrive Cape Town
Upon arrival in Cape Town, you will be escorted to your hotel on the Atlantic Coast by Camps Bay.Twelve Apostles - 3 Nights
Day 2Cape Town
Depart before daybreak for Simonstown harbor for a boat trip with international shark experts Chris and Monique Fallows in search of the super predator of the oceans: the great white shark. The Fallows have studied great whites since 1989 and were the first to film the now-famous great whites of False Bay in the rare act of "breaching" (launching themselves out of the water) in their pursuit of Cape Fur Seals they hunt in this area. Cruise by Seal Island, watch the sharks breach and enjoy lunch on board.Twelve Apostles (B, L)
Day 3Cape Town
Depart from Cape Town by ferry for a scenic 25-minute trip across Table Bay to Robben Island. This World Heritage Site, which is one of South Africa's most revered national monuments, was once a prison where Nelson Mandela spent two decades of his life on the island, along with some 3,000 others. Some of the island guides were once inmates themselves.Twelve Apostles (B)
Day 4To Phinda Private Game Reserve
This morning, fly from Cape Town to Durban and then drive onward to Phinda Private Game Reserve. Your intimate Lodge abuts the wetlands where you can view game from the comfort of your private plunge pool.andBeyond Phinda Vlei Lodge (B, D)
Day 5 - 6Phinda Private Game Reserve
Enjoy two full days of game viewing. The fascinating variety of landscape and vegetation in Phinda shelters an abundance of wildlife, including not only the Big Five but many rarer and less easily spotted species, such as the elusive cheetah or the scarce black rhino.andBeyond Phinda Vlei Lodge (B, L, D)
Day 7To Johannesburg
Today, fly by light aircraft to Johannesburg and continue to your luxury boutique hotel.Fairlawns Boutique Hotel - 2 Nights (B)
After breakfast, enjoy a full-day tour of Johannesburg including Soweto, the black residential area where much of the struggle against apartheid was fought and the fascinating Apartheid Museum.Fairlawns Boutique Hotel (B, L)
Day 9To Tswalu Kalahari
Fly by light aircraft to the grasslands of the Green Kalahari, home to landscapes unlike those of any other reserve in the country. Tswalu Kalahari is South Africa's largest private game reserve, covering an area of over 250,000 acres, and one of its most exclusive, with never more than 30 visitors at a time.Tswalu Motse - 4 Nights (B, D)
Day 10 - 12Tswalu Kalahari
Embark on a combination of game drives and bush walks to see the wildlife in the reserve including cheetah, black-maned lion, desert-adapted black rhino and wild dog. A morning can begin by walking to a meerkat colony and watching these engaging mammals warm themselves in the sunshine before they scamper off to forage. Don't forget to take a starlit night walk in search of aardvark, pangolin, porcupine or brown hyena.Tswalu Motse (B, L, D)
Day 13Depart Johannesburg
Your journey ends today as you return to Johannesburg by light aircraft to connect to your onward flight this evening.(B)
Generally, road conditions in southern Africa are reasonably good; however, they vary greatly between the modern cities and the remote areas, where the dusty, gravel roads necessitate 4-wheel-drive travel. When traveling off the beaten track, roads are frequently narrow, bumpy and pot-holed, and have stretches which are not sealed, or which are under reconstruction. In Ethiopia, Madagascar, Namibia and Rwanda particularly, conditions are very dusty and the off-road journeys tend to be quite strenuous. Road conditions change throughout the year, and heavy tropical rains and extreme weather patterns can affect journey times enormously.
If we are custom designing an itinerary for you, it is always a good idea to discuss your particular requirements with your travel consultant, who will endeavor to include as much or as little road travel as you desire. The type of vehicle varies according to the country visited and the number of people within your group. In destinations where conditions require it, off-road driving will be in 4-wheel-drive Land Cruisers or Land Rovers.
Internal Flights: Scheduled flights within Sub-Saharan Africa are typically limited to 33-44 lbs. of luggage per person, depending on the airline or charter company operating the flight. Although you may have a luggage weight limit of 44-88 lbs. on your international flight as well as hand luggage, you will need to limit your baggage as required according to the country and airlines or store baggage at your arrival airport. Some flights also require that luggage be packed in soft-sided bags, which Cox & Kings will provide prior to your travel. Between the camps and lodges, we can book either shared air transfers or private charters. We will automatically book shared air transfers wherever available unless otherwise requested. Please note that shared air transfers may make stops to pick up and drop off passengers at other camps, lodges and airstrips en route. Private charter flights only stop for refueling or for customs and immigration formalities as needed. The flight times for air transfers between camps and lodges are arranged 24-48 hours prior to the flight. Departure times are therefore advised locally. Passengers weighing more than 220 lbs. should advise us in advance, as some air charter companies require that an extra seat be purchased at an additional cost for all shared air transfer flight segments. This is for safety and comfort of all guests on board.
Flight Delays & Insurance: Unfortunately, due to the increase in air traffic, government restrictions and changing weather conditions, flight delays have become more common. Apart from delaying your arrival at your destination, these delays can cause problems with onward connections and/or hotel and vacation arrangements, which may need to be rescheduled. Although the airline will sometimes make alternative arrangements to get you to your next destination at no extra cost, additional costs may be involved after your arrival in the form of additional accommodation costs, transfers and onward tickets. Unfortunately, since most services are paid for in advance, any services missed due to delays are non-refundable. Please also bear in mind that many international flight tickets are non-changeable and non-refundable. Therefore, it is essential that you are insured against such eventualities.
Airport Departure Taxes: Many cities in Africa levy a tax for passengers departing on international flights, and where this is not included in the ticket price it will need to be paid in local currency or the equivalent in U.S. dollars. Other cities within a country may also levy a small charge for departures on domestic flights. Occasionally, taxes may be included in your ticket; we will advise you accordingly. Since there is no standard charge between countries, and taxes are subject to change, it is not possible to list the taxes in this brochure. We list applicable departure taxes in our pre-tour general information, which you should receive when you confirm your booking. We attempt to keep these as current as possible. Please ensure you keep enough local currency or U.S. dollars to cover these taxes.
Traveling by train in southern Africa can be a very rewarding and enjoyable experience. New luxury train routes are constantly being developed and there are now a variety of excellent routes available. Cox & Kings does not advise travelers to use the local trains, which cannot be confirmed as safe; however, the internationally acclaimed Rovos Rail and Blue Train offer a relaxed and luxurious alternative to road travel.
Accommodation standards vary dramatically throughout Africa; however, hotels used on Cox & Kings journeys can normally be expected to be very comfortable. In more remote destinations, such as parts of Ethiopia, Madagascar and Rwanda, accommodation will be more basic. Cox & Kings uses the best available properties in remote destinations and, although these will be clean and offer en suite rooms, in general they cannot be compared to modern, Western hotels. In some locations, many of the hotels we use are small, privately owned properties retaining much of their original ambience. In most destinations, service and food will be of a high quality, but in some less-developed regions hotel service can be slow and we ask you to show patience in this regard. Please note, typically all rooms reserved on your tour are standard; however, if you wish to upgrade your room, please speak to your tour consultant, who will be able to advise you about the options and the applicable supplements.
Early Starts: When on safari, you will find it is necessary to leave your lodge very early in the morning (around dawn) in order to maximize the opportunities for game viewing, as the wildlife is more active during the cooler morning hours and in the evening.
Check-in & Check-out Times: In some situations, when a flight arrives very early in the morning, it may be that you will be taken for breakfast or sightseeing before being allocated your rooms since check-in time is normally between 12 noon and 2 p.m. and check-out time is normally 11 a.m. to 12 noon. Cox & Kings’ local representatives will ensure that you are able to access your room as early as possible, but early check-ins are not guaranteed.
Game Parks & Remote Areas: Within Africa, we generally use the best accommodation available. However, even luxurious properties are a long way from other civilization and can often only be reached down narrow and makeshift roads. Although accommodation will often be in tents, these can be more luxurious than some lodges and include private facilities. Even when you travel off the beaten track with Cox & Kings, you can be sure that your accommodation in game lodges, smaller hotels and tented camps is on par with the best available in that category. Sometimes the best hotel may be the only hotel, which may be very modest. In these cases we feel that such accommodation is outweighed by the experience of these more remote areas.
Location: Southern Africa, at the southern tip of Africa, bordering the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe
Capital: Pretoria (administrative), Cape Town (legislative), and Bloemfontein (judicial)
Area: 470,693 sq. miles
Currency: South African Rand
Official Language(s): Xhosa, Afrikaans, Sepedi, English, Setswaana, Sesotho, Songa, Ndebele, Tshivenda, Zulu, Swati
Visas: South African law requires travelers to have a minimum of two consecutive blank visa pages in their passport to enter the country. Travelers without the necessary blank visa pages in their passports may be refused entry into South Africa. If you are visiting multiple countries, we recommend having at least 4-6 consecutive blank visa pages in your passport. U.S. passport holders should check with the U.S. State Department online or by phone about adding passport pages to a valid passport.
Inoculations: South Africa requires travelers arriving from countries where yellow fever is present to have proof of vaccination.
What To See
Cape Town abounds with sites to visit. Table Mountain can be reached by cable-car or hiked to the top. Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was a political prisoner for 18 years, is accessible from the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, which is a great area for shopping and dining.
The Cape Peninsula and Cape Point Nature Reserve features mountain passes and endemic fynbos of the Cape Floral Kingdom, as well as wildlife, such as Chacma baboons, ostriches, bontebok and eland, African penguins, and Southern Right Whales in season.
Cape Town’s neighboring wineland towns of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek have wineries dating back to the 1600s. Stellenbosch Is known for its beautiful Cape Dutch architecture, while Franschhoek carries much of the areas French Hugenot influence.
Safari being the main draw to South Africa, Kruger National Park and its bordering private game reserves are home to the “big five” - lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo. Perhaps some of the densest game populations in Africa, Kruger is a highlight for any South Africa visit.
Other high quality safari areas offering a contrast to Kruger are the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve to the northwest of Johannesburg, the Eastern Cape along the southern border of the country, and the Kalahari Desert in the Northern Cape province.
South Africa: Coast To Kalahari
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