Hills of Africa

A Taste of an African Safari Vacation to South Africa

Featuring Johannesburg, Western Cape, Cape Winelands, Sabi Sands, Kruger National Park, Cape Town

15 nights/16 days - Itinerary prices start at USD$10,000 per person





Day 1 - Johannesburg

On arrival in Johannesburg you will pass through South Africa's immigrations and customs. Once you have collected your bags, you will need to walk through to the Arrivals Hall. Your Hills Of Africa representative will meet you in the arrivals hall and transfer you to your hotel. Look for your name on a sign.

US passports do not require holiday visas to enter South Africa, BUT you must have two blank pages for each country that you visit and a valid passport.

The Residence Boutique Hotel Houghton

A warm, hospitable welcome awaits you at The Residence, located in the historic suburb of Houghton, which is also home to many famous residents including former President Nelson Mandela. The Residence exudes a charming air of quiet dignity, with an abundance of bougainvillea blossoms cascading down the terraced gardens. This is a blissful oasis where guests are treated with personalized service and are invited to make themselves at home.

The Residence is an extraordinary boutique hotel that is truly one of a kind, no effort has been spared in creating the most sublime surroundings to surpass your greatest expectations. Whether you are a business professional with a demanding executive schedule or a leisure traveler with time to spend at your own discretion, we are here to ensure that your stay with us will be memorable.

On arrival at The Residence, you are greeted warmly and graciously before being shown around the guest areas on the ground floor. There is an immediate awareness of the sophisticated splendor of the interior and an all-pervading atmosphere of total tranquility. The entrance hall leads through to the sumptuous lounge and sitting room with plush furnishings inviting carefree relaxation for all seasons. A cozy log fire is lit in the fireplace on chilly days, while doors opening onto the long, spacious veranda offer a cool respite from the warm African sun. Guests are welcome to take a stroll through the manicured gardens and enjoy a game of tennis or swim a few lengths in the large outdoor pool. Arrangements can also be made for guests to work out at a nearby gymnasium or play a round of golf on the Houghton Golf Course.

Accommodation: 1 x luxury room on a bed and breakfast basis for 2 nights




Day 2 - Johannesburg

Today you will be collected from the hotel lobby and taken on a private guided tour of Johannesburg City and The Apartheid Museum. A day of inspiration and enlightenment will be yours today.

Johannesburg City Tour: Learn about the City of Gold and its suburbs. Johannesburg, South Africa's largest city, remains the country's financial and commercial heart. View the "Rainbow Nation" at work in Sandton and Downtown Johannesburg. The Northern suburbs can be viewed from a vantage point after which we drive through Hillbrow, the most densely populated part of the city, cross over Nelson Mandela Bridge and into downtown Johannesburg. A stop is made at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown where a variety of African arts and crafts are sold. Constitutional Hill is the new home of the Constitutional Court, the protector of all South Africans' basic rights and freedom. Constitutional Hill is also the site of Johannesburg's old Fort Prison Complex, known as No.4 where thousands of people were brutally punished before democracy in 1994. Many of South Africa's leading political activists such as Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela were detained here.

Apartheid Museum: The first of its kind, this newly built museum offers an unbiased account of South Africa's history over the past century, eloquently highlighting our country's social and racial dynamics and celebrating our miracle arrival at democracy. The architecture of the venue is stark and uncompromising, bringing to mind cold prison cells where many people were detained without trial. The tone of the museum is unapologetic and objectively presents apartheid's strict segregation policies without preaching or playing to your emotions. The experience may be traumatic for some, but is ultimately reconciliatory, with a huge piece of the museum devoted to the release of Nelson Mandela. It's an emotional and uplifting experience; one which will linger long after the tour has ended.






Day 3 - Sabi Sands, Kruger National Park

Today, you will be collected and driven to the Johannesburg Airport to connect with your flight to Sabi Sands bordering Kruger National Park.

You will board a shared, light-aircraft charter flight on Bateleur Air at Johannesburg Airport to the Sabi Sands bordering Kruger National Park (about 60 minutes).

On arrival at Sabi Sands Airstrip, you will be met by your guide and transferred to camp.

Londolozi Tree Camp

Tree Camp embodies the very essence of Londolozi's continuous striving to transcend and redefine the journey to the wilderness.

This is a place of connoisseurship, leopards, orchids, lanterns and lead wood trees. Guests spend lazy afternoons on their decks, champagne in hand as they survey the ancient landscape, elephants feeding below in the river.

Elegance and simplicity are the hallmarks of the Tree Camp sanctuaries. In every detail and feature, from the private swimming pools and contemplation decks (salas) to the Ralph Lauren wallpaper and chocolate plaited leather beds, this exclusive camp provides a matchless showcase of African excellence.

Room: 1 x Tree House on all inclusive basis for 4 nights






Day 7 - Cape Town

Today you will be flown from the Sabi Sands back to Johannesburg on a scheduled charter flight.

On arrival at Johannesburg Airport, you will be met by your Hills of Africa guide and helped to check in for your flight to Cape Town.

On arrival in Cape Town you will be met by your Hills of Africa Travel representative as you enter the Arrivals Hall. Look for your name on a sign. Your Hills of Africa Travel representative will then transfer you to your hotel.

Cape Grace Hotel

The Cape Grace offers gracious five-star style and a perfect waterside position in one of the world's most beautiful cities. Perfect Waterside Location. With its enviable location on the vibrant Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Grace is the perfect starting point for any outing. Whatever your needs, the staff genuinely delight in sending guests to exotic eateries tucked away, advising the best wine routes or shopping expeditions off the beaten track. Luxurious Hospitality. Each of the 122 guestrooms and suites features a carefully chosen selection of fine furniture, luxurious fabrics and attention to detail that create an immediate sense of place. Double-glazed French doors open to scenic views of the international yacht marina, Table Mountain or the buzzing Waterfront harbor.

Spectacular and Full-Service Hotel. Personalized, impeccable yet warm service is the calling card of Cape Grace to ensure that every guest is made to feel welcomed, comfortable, and utterly pampered during their stay. As a full service hotel, Cape Grace offers a variety of superior facilities. Experience the award winning contemporary cuisine at its own restaurant, Signal Restaurant, where mouth-watering flavor combinations and inspired wine pairings entice all who dine there. For something more casual, Cafe Bascule is a lively coffee destination, yet by night it is the perfect place to ease into the evening, whiskey in hand. For sheer indulgence, African-inspired treatments relax and rejuvenate at the top floor spa. Other full service hotel facilities include an outdoor heated roof-top pool overlooking the international yacht marina, an elegant and comfortable library ideal for settling down with a book or newspaper and a conveniently situated communication center offering 24 hour complimentary internet access.

Fair Trade Label. Cape Grace has been awarded a Fair Trade label, one of a few select properties in all of South Africa. Its Fair Trade label is a testament to the pro-active efforts by the owners and management to uplift the local community and preserve natural resources. The common thread amongst Fair Trade labelled properties is they hire staff only from the immediate local villages, pay fair wages and ensure fair working conditions, provide useful training, promote from within offering a reward based environment and operate many other positive, pro-active policies.

Room: 1 x Superior Room on bed & breakfast basis for 4 nights





Day 8 - Cape Town

Today you will explore the peninsula region of Cape Town. It is a scenic coastal meander that will introduce you to the extended suburbs of Cape Town. Highlights of the day include:

Highlights:

    The tour passes through many of Cape Town's most beautiful villages: Camps Bay, Llundudno, Hout Bay, Simon's Town and Kalk Bay.
    A visit to the famous Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope. Cape Point represents the success of Bartholomew Diaz who first discovered it while looking for a way to get to the East, he may not have made it all the way there, but finally the Portuguese knew that there was a turning point and as such there was hope that the route would be discovered. Nine years later the famous Vasco da Gama would pass the point and manage to get all the way through to the East. This opened up the Spice Routes for the Europeans and very soon there was shipping traffic passing the Cape on a regular basis.
    A visit to the penguin colony at Boulders. Penguins are only found in the Southern hemisphere, and as such it is a treat for those from the North to be able to see them outside of an aquarium. The African penguin's natural habitat is to live on islands off the Coast of South Africa. However, many of the penguins natural habitats have been disturbed by man over the years. As such in the 1980's a couple of penguins decided to relocate to one of Cape Town's favourite beaches, Boulders beach, they must have liked what they saw as they then got busy breeding. Today there are over 3000 penguins living at Boulders. The beach is now only open to penguins and is closed to sun tanners! There are however viewing platforms that will allow you to get up close to the penguins.


A favourite restaurant for inclusion on Peninsula Tours is The Harbour House Restaurant - this restaurant boasts panoramic sea views and the freshest fish in town as they have their own fishing boats.







Day 9 - Cape Town

This morning, you will be transferred to the Bo-Kaap area of Cape Town, the Cape Malay Capital of Cape Town for a Cooking Tour in the Bo-Kaap with lunch, which you have helped to prepare.

This is a unique opportunity to interact with the locals of the Bo-Kaap area. The Bo-Kaap is renowned as one Cape Town's most beautiful areas. It boasts a real mixture of brightly colored homes and is one of the most important Muslim areas in the Cape. During apartheid, the city moved all people of color out of the inner city and surrounding suburbs. The exception to this was the Bo-Kaap region. This area was classified as a Cape Malay area - i.e. if you were Muslim you could remain in the region. A visit to the area is well worth it and most people would not leave Cape Town without taking a photograph of the houses.

After your cooking experience, you will go on a private half day tour of the City of Cape Town. Cape Town is the oldest city in South Africa and as such has acquired the name of the "Mother City". Today we take a walk through the history of the City; its people, its buildings and its business district.

Highlights of today will be:

    Either a walk or a driving tour through the oldest part of the city. Simply let us know your preference. Here we explore the old history of the Dutch India Company occupation, followed by the invasion of the British in 1795. Both had a distinct impact on the city in terms of architecture.
    A visit to the Bo-Kaap area which is the only region of the city that people of colour were not forcefully removed from. This is the Cape Malay Muslim quarter of the city and boasts brightly coloured houses. There is the opportunity to visit some community projects in this area such as Monkey Biz and Streetwires (Mon- Sat. Closed Sat afternoon and Sunday)
    A visit to the District 6 Museum (Mon- Sat) which is a museum of the memories of the people who were forcefully removed from the "sixth" district of Cape Town. Over 60 000 people were removed from the "slums" at the edge of the city. This museum is a powerful reminder of the happy times they shared living together. It is a place where the community meet to try and fight to recreate their community and to get their land back
    Ascending the cable car to the top of Table Mountain (weather dependant). From the top of Table Mountain you enjoy panoramic views of the city and after a short stroll on a clear day you will be able to see all the way to Cape Point (weather dependant!).








Day 10 - Cape Town

Your Uthando South Africa Tour this morning will be truly special. You will get a first hand look at some of the social problems confronting many South Africans and the innovative and inspirational ways in which these problems are being handled. The tour its not a township tour, its not a trip down guilt lane, it's not a begging bowl route, it's a field excursion to discover, learn, understand, see, experience, feel and most importantly, be inspired! While the world goes about its daily chores, earning a living and living a life, millions of people around the globe are making amazing human stories in the face of almost insurmountable adversity. Uthando (Love) South Africa offers visitors to South Africa, the opportunity to obtain a glimpse into these amazing stories. This is an authentic, non-commercialized view of this aspect of South Africa.

The tour starts with a drive through the townships of Gugulethu, Nyanga, Crossroads, Philippi and Khayelitsha, giving some background to the daily lives of people living in these sprawling communities and visiting some of the memorials and sites of brave political struggle against the Apartheid government. The group will be given indepth insights into the history of SA as well as relevant past and current politics (depending on the interest of the group).

First visit is to the amazingly productive community garden managed by Abalimi Bezekhaya ("Planters of the Home"), where the group will have a chance to learn about the impact of urban agriculture and community gardens on local communities. The director of Abalimi is a Ashoka Fellow, and the project is the source of much interest internationally as they are proving that community gardens can also be commercially viable.

We then visit the Thokozani Brothers Choir and after school group. This renowned choir group also runs an after-school programme providing musical skills and life skills teaching to children from Khayelitsha (an impoverished community which is home to 1 million people). The group will showcase their wonderful work with singing that is truly inspirational.

Finally, the group will visit the Volcano Arts Project. The project creates productions with dance, music and drama as well as running theatre development workshops in Nyanga township. Performances are based on community issues and themes such as HIV / AIDS, domestic violence and drug abuse. In the townships there is limited opportunity for budding performers and artists to showcase their talents, and Volcano aims to redress this. There will be an interactive session where the group will learn gumboot dancing, drumming and learning to play the most beautiful instrument in Africa, the marimba. Uthando is accreditated by Fair Trade.

This afternoon, you will enjoy visiting Robben Island which operates as a site and living museum.

Robben Island has not only been used as a prison. It was a training and defense station in World War II (1939-1945) and a hospital for people with leprosy, and the mentally and chronically ill (1846-1931). In the 1840s, Robben Island was chosen for a hospital because it was regarded as both secure (isolating dangerous cases) and healthy (providing a good environment for cure). During this time, political and common-law prisoners were still kept on the Island. As there was no cure and little effective treatment available for leprosy, mental illness and other chronic illnesses in the 1800s, Robben Island was a kind of prison for the hospital patients too.

Since 1997 it has been a museum and a heritage site. The museum is a dynamic institution, which acts as a focal point of South African heritage. It runs educational programs for schools, youths and adults, facilitates tourism development, conducts ongoing research related to the Island and fulfils an archiving function. By managing its resources and activities, Robben Island Memorial strives to maintain the unique and universal symbolism of the Island with the goal of becoming a national and international heritage and conservation institution.




Day 11 - Western Cape

This morning, your Hills of Africa guide will collect you from your hotel and transfer you to Bushmans Kloof in the heart of the beautiful Cederberg Mountains. Your beautiful scenic drive will take you about 2.5 hours and you will pass through the Pakhuis Pass.

Bushmans Kloof Main Lodge

This extraordinary haven, nestled at the foothills of the Cederberg mountains, is just 270km from Cape Town, and the ideal wilderness getaway to escape, restore and relax. Malaria and predator free, the reserve is a natural playground for those who want to reconnect with themselves and the essence of life, with wide open plains, mystical rock formations, crystal clear water falls, and an abundance of flora and fauna.

The spa is a sanctuary to wellness, well-being and holistic healing, where one's spirit, mind and body can truly let go, and soothing pampering and restorative treatments are complemented with unique products made from indigenous rooibos, flowers and plants. The warm, caring service and hospitality, delicious organic cuisine, breathtaking dining venues, superb facilities and accommodation have repeatedly won Bushmans Kloof international recognition and awards.

Exclusive and totally private, with 16 rooms and suites, this Natural Heritage Site is also home to many exceptional San rock art sites. Guests can discover the wonders of nature, choose from a vast range of outdoor activities, or do absolutely nothing but inhale the beauty and succumb to the peace, quiet and tranquility.

Room: 1 x Luxury Room on all inclusive basis for 3 nights





Day 14 - Cape Winelands

Today, your Hills of Africa guide will transfer you to your hotel in the scenic Cape Winelands area of South Africa. Allow about 4.5 hours of driving time to thoroughly enjoy the beauty of this drive.

Babylonstoren

Babylonstoren is one of the best preserved farms in the Cape Dutch tradition. Not only the manor house from 1777, but pioneer structures date all the way back to the founding of the farm in 1690. The Koornhuis (for storing wheat and hay) and the old cellar are exceptionally fine. An ornate fowl house, pigeon loft, leaning bell tower and historic gates embellish a traditional courtyard surrounded by a low, whitewashed wall. The days are intentionally unscripted at Babylonstoren, leaving guests free to do as they please. Stroll out onto the farm of 200 hectares and see fruit being picked in the orchards or vines being pruned - depending on the season. Enjoy a walk in the remarkable fruit and vegetable garden (guided if you feel like learning, or unguided for relaxation). Pick your own salad or enjoy a meal in the superb restaurant. Perhaps a massage in the spa after lunch? Or a stroll along a clivia lined stream? Then a swim in the farm dam or a bout in the gym, before sundowners at a picnic spot? Or rather sample some of the excellent wines grown on the slopes all around the Simonsberg, possibly the finest terroir for wine in Africa? You can choose. Or simply lounge and read, in summer in a hammock strung among tree trunks, in winter curled up before a fire?

The guest suites echo Cape Dutch farm buildings. The style developed in the Cape Colony of the 17th and 18th century: outer walls are whitewashed and decorated with ornate gables and thatched roofs. Interiors are pleasantly cool in summer (due to thick walls) and are heated by open hearths in winter.

Babylonstoren has an exceptionally well-preserved werf. It consists of a main residence, old cellar, koorenhuis (where wheat and hay was stored) and row of service buildings, bell tower, ornate fowl pen and dove cote surrounded by the traditional low whitewashed walls. Some of these have been converted into guest accommodation, while a disused kraal was turned into the restaurant, Babel.

Room: 1 x Deluxe Suite on bed & breakfast basis for 2 nights




Day 15 - Cape Winelands

Today, you will be collected by your Hills of Africa guide for a day of wine tasting and exploring in the beautiful Cape Winelands.

On your first wine tour to the Cape we introduce you to the Cape's oldest wine regions. The aim of the day is to take a journey through this beautiful mountainous region and to explore the history, wine and architecture of the region. Be sure to mention what your interests are early in the day as well as whether you are a white wine or red wine drinker. The answers to these questions will change the direction that the tour goes during the day. Stellenbosch is the 2nd oldest town; it boasts oak tree lined streets and gorgeous white houses from both the Dutch and English periods. This region is renowned as the best red wine region in the country. Today we explore Stellenbosch and possibly Franschhoek and Paarl - depending on your interests, the routes will change.

Some of the experiences you might enjoy could be: A visit to Vergelegen - one of the oldest estates, to explore their beautiful gardens and historical Cape Dutch Homestead; wine tasting at some of the Cape's best estates; a tutored olive oil tasting or a chocolate and wine pairing experience; a cellar tour (note that this must be pre-booked well in advance).

During the day, you will have lunch at a top restaurant in the wine region (not included in the price of your itinerary).


Day 16 - Cape Town

Today you will be transferred from the Cape Winelands to Cape Town International Airport, where you will be helped to check in for your international flight home.

Safe travels and we hope you have lived the Magic Of Africa.



Hills of Africa