Wild safaris, rugged coastlines and lush winelands
Welcome to the wild lands of South Africa, home to exotic wildlife and rugged landscapes! South Africa is abundant in adventure activities and off-the-beaten-track experiences, from 4x4 safaris to hiking to magnificent lookouts. You’ll get to sample local wines and fresh, artisanal produce, share meals with locals, and get up close and personal with some incredibly rare, wild animals.
8 - 20 March 2020
4 - 16 October 2020
12 nights' accommodation in twin share four and five star boutique hotels and safari lodges
12 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 5 dinners
English speaking local tour guide
All activities included, from cooking classes to wildlife safaris
Airport transfers on day one, private air-conditioned transport throughout
Maximum 14 fellow travellers
Welkom to Suid-Afrika!
Upon arrival at Cape Town International Airport, you will be met by your driver and transferred to your hotel. If you arrive with some free time up your sleeve, get acquainted with the increasingly hip and happening Cape Town.
This evening, you’ll get to know your tour guide and travelling buddies over a delicious dinner.
Penguin spotting and scenic lookouts
This morning we depart for the Cape Peninsula Route, stopping at Boulders Beach to view the African penguin! We’ll pass through Fishhoek and onto Cape Point, where we can stand at Africa’s most southern point. Standing at the top of the “point”, we can gaze in the respective directions of the mighty Indian and Atlantic oceans!
We then make our way to Simons Town to enjoy a Stand-Up Paddle tour and check out the popular penguin beaches.
We’ll then head back to Cape Town travelling along the spectacular Chapmans Peak Drive and enjoy an afternoon hike up Table Mountain. We’ll have time to soak up the view before we descend the mountain via cable car.
We’ll return to the hotel in the late afternoon to enjoy the rest of the evening at leisure.
Food glorious food!
Today is an opportunity to samples some of the spectacular food and wine that South Africa is known for as we make our way to the winelands. We’ll get to know a diverse range of wine styles alongside local treats including cured meats and artisanal chocolate.
Cape wines are world-renowned for their quality and value for money. We will get to visit the main attractions and world-famous estates. But in true Unmapped fashion, we’ll go beyond the ordinary, visiting hidden gems only known to locals, tasting authentic local cuisine and sharing stories with South African winemakers. A hearty lunch will be served in the middle of the winelands, with stunning views of the surrounding vineyards.
We’ll return to Cape Town to enjoy the rest of the evening at leisure.
Cooking with culture
Fill up on breakfast this morning as we have a full day of activities planned. We start with a morning tour to Robben Island, the notorious island prison that once held the late South African President and Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Nelson Mandela.
In the afternoon we’ll make our way back to the city where we’ll enjoy a historic walking tour of Cape Town, ending up in Bo-Kaap, one of the country’s oldest established communities. At the end of the tour, we will be welcomed into a local resident’s home to learn more about Cape Malay culture of the area, including an interactive cooking class where we’ll get to try our hand at cooking some South African classics including samosas, rooti (flat bread) and chicken or veg curry. And of course, we’ll get to taste the feast we have prepared as we share stories around the table.
Gentle giants of Hermanus
This morning, after breakfast, we will make our way from Cape Town to Hermanus, known for its whale watching opportunities. In fact, many consider Hermanus to be the best land-based whale-watching destination in the world! Southern right whales migrate through Hermanus’ rugged waters from June to December and the town itself is also home to a fantastic selection of restaurants (we hope you like seafood!).
This afternoon, after checking into our new digs, we’ll venture out on a cruise of Dyer Island. This tour is a "Marine Big 5" experience, where we hope to find whales, dolphins, seals, sharks, and African penguins. Not to mention some incredible seabird sightings and breathtaking unspoiled scenery. Once we return to the hotel, the rest of the evening is free to explore or relax.
After breakfast and checking out, we depart Hermanus and make our way to Oudtshoorn. Oudtshoorn is known for its ostrich farms and is set against the impressive Swartberg Mountains.
This afternoon we’ll hop into 4x4s and enjoy our first South African game drive. From our open game-viewing vehicles, we’ll have the chance to see a wide range of animals including hippos, giraffes, elands, zebras, buffalos, springboks and more. Halfway through the safari, we’ll have a refreshment break at one of the area’s most scenic lookout points, offering 360° panoramic views of the area as well as the Swartberg Mountains.
Tonight we’ll enjoy a group dinner at the lodge, followed by an evening of stargazing.
Today is an early rise as we head out on a meerkat safari which will bring us up close and personal to these cute and curious creatures. A trained ranger will meet us in the Lookout Lounge, where we will enjoy a warm cup of coffee and rusks before heading to the safari vehicle that will take us to the meerkat burrows.
On the way to the burrows, guests are usually lucky enough to spot some of the 22 species of animals on the reserve. We’ll learn all about meerkat behaviour before returning back to the main lodge for a hearty breakfast, and some free time to explore, relax or enjoy a little snooze after our early start.
This afternoon, we venture out on a sunset safari, another opportunity the see wildlife South Africa is famous for.
Knysna by bike
After a leisurely morning and a hearty breakfast, we’ll continue our journey onwards to Knysna. Not only is Knysna built beside an exquisite lagoon and surrounded by ancient forests, but the town itself also has a fun, bohemian vibe.
After checking into our boutique hideaway, we’ll venture out on a Knysna Village Gourmet Cycle Tour. This four-hour two-wheel tour is a treat for the senses as we sample the best food and wine in the area while listening to stories of the town’s history and culture.
Once we get back to the hotel, we’ll enjoy some free time before we head out on our Knysna Sunset Cruise. There is no better way to end the day than enjoying local wine and oysters on a relaxing boat cruise and taking in the magnificent views of Knysna. What a night!
Tsitsikamma National Park
Today we depart for Tsitsikamma National Park. Tucked between the mountains and the sea, Tsitsikamma offers beautiful forests and 80km of protected coastline. Here, we’ll find plenty of hiking trails to explore and birdlife to admire.
We'll enjoy a cheese-making demonstration at Fynboshoek, followed by cheese tasting and harvest table lunch. After lunch, we enter the Tsitsikamma National Park to visit the Storms River Suspension Bridge. It's quite the hike, but we'll help each other along the way!
Day at leisure in Tsitsikamma
Today is at leisure to enjoy the optional activities on offer or to simply kick back and relax, it's up to you!
Optional activities include:
- Tsitsikamma National Park Hiking Trails or Segway tours
- Tsitsikamma Canopy Tour
- Storms River Kayaking
- Dinner at Marilyns 60’s Diner
The Big Five
After we’ve stocked up on breakfast, we’ll set off towards the great area of Addo to a Private Reserve called Amakhala. This tranquil reserve supports a diverse range of fauna, including lions, rhinos, cheetahs, giraffes, zebras, elephants and more. So get ready for some incredible wildlife viewing!
Once we've settled into our safari lodge and enjoyed a hearty lunch, we’ll head out on an afternoon 4x4 game drive. Game drives are guided by an experienced ranger in an open Land Rover. Keep your eyes peeled for elusive members of the “big five”!
Amakhala Game Reserve
Today we rise early to observe the wildlife during their most active hours. We can assure you it will be well worth forgoing the sleep in and we’ll have a hearty breakfast waiting for us when we return to the lodge.
After some leisure time, we’ll head out on a picturesque river safari cruise. We’ll meander down Bushman’s River which is teeming with incredible bird and plant life. Relax and enjoy the cruise with mouth-watering snacks and ice-cold beverages.
This afternoon we’ll have the opportunity to jump back into the Land Rovers for more out-of-this-world wildlife encounters as the sun sets over the reserve.
So long, South Africa
Today we say goodbye to South Africa and our new friends. We will be transferred to Port Elizabeth Airport for our onward flights.