Nothing quite beats seeing the Big Five for the first time, summiting the magnificent Table Mountain, ...
... or discovering a diversity of landscapes as you roll cross-country on the Blue Train. South Africa is a destination that’s built on incredible experiences like these; prepare to tick off a bunch of bucket-list items here.
Some of the highlights included are:
- Explore the vibrant port city of Cape Town
- Ride the rails on the Blue Train from Cape Town to Pretoria
- Sip delicious varietals in Franschhoek
- Search for the Big Five in Pilanesberg Game Reserve
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- International flights
- 9 nights in 5* hotels
- 2 nights onboard the Blue Train in a De Luxe cabin
- 3 days’ car hire
- Franschhoek Wine Tram Tour
- Robben Island Tour
- All transfers
Need to know+
- Arrives: Cape Town International Airport (CPT)
- Time difference: GMT+2
- Visa requirements: British passport holders do not require a visa
- Language: 11 official languages including English and Afrikaans
- Currency: South African Rand (ZAR)
- Flying time from UK: around 12 hours
- Plug type: 3 large round pins
- Voltage: 230V
Fly from UK to Franschhoek
It may not seem it, but beyond the whitewashed Cape Dutch homesteads of Franschhoek lies a treasure trove of fertile vineyards. Wine lovers will be right at home here, and you’ll have the chance to explore over 30 different estates and their varietals – from delicious Sauvignon Blancs to hearty reds, like Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Merlot. Shopping is pretty good here too, especially if you want to take home some African art as a souvenir.
Cape Town is a thing of full, in-your-face beauty. With the craggy shadow of Table Mountain looming to one side, and the bustling harbour and beach on the other, balance your days between lazing on the sands and seeking adventure. Perhaps take the cable car to the top of the mountain for the best views of the city, or head out to Boulders Beach for a bit of relaxation time with 3,000+ African penguins. It’s the one time you won’t mind competing for space on the silica. Find the time to wander the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens too, and dine at the atmospheric V&A Waterfront.
Traverse 994 miles of mountain, desert and grassland landscape between Pretoria and Cape Town when your stay onboard the luxurious Blue Train. And it’s not just the scenery that will wow you – you’ll sample delicious breakfast, brunch, lunch, high tea and dinner across the two-day trip. Your De Luxe cabin serves up pure elegance too, offering the perfect place to unwind in seclusion, while still soaking up the vistas through a huge in-suite window.
Known for its abundance of vibrant purple jacaranda trees, Pretoria is a picture-perfect spot to relax for a day. Perhaps take a stroll around the city, visiting the iconic Voortrekker Monument – which pays homage to the Afrikaans settlers who arrived here in the 1830s. If you have time, be sure to explore the government Union Buildings and admire the plants and wildlife of the Pretoria National Botanical Garden.
Pilanesberg National Park is an unspoilt wilderness, but it’s also one of the most accessible game reserves in South Africa. Here you can search for the Big 5 on a safari drive, gaze across the plains from above in a hot-air balloon, and even immerse yourself in nature by camping out in a concealed photographic hide. Beyond wildlife watching, the Ivory Tree Game Lodges offers the chance to experience African culture too – watch Tswana and Zulu dancing, get involved with traditional drumming and dig into a bush braai dinner.
Depart Pilanesberg and return to the UK
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