Africa – From spectacular safaris to the bright blue coast
Do you dream of seeing elephants and lions on safari? Cross that and more off your bucket list on this once-in-a-lifetime South African dream vacation! Enjoy a sunrise hot air balloon safari, tour the Cape Winelands, stay in Johannesburg and Cape Town, visit townships, and experience the stunning Cape Peninsula!
- Round-trip economy class airfare into Johannesburg (JNB), out of Cape Town (CPT)
- All airport transfers
- 2 nights in Johannesburg at 54 on Bath, or similar
- Early morning ballooning safari, including transfers and breakfast
- Soweto Cultural Experience
- One-way charter flight from Johannesburg (JNB) to Madikwe Game Reserve air strip
- 3 nights in the Madikwe Game Reserve at the malaria-free Jamala Madikwe Royal Safari Lodge, or similar
- Breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily with local brand drinks and activities included
- 6 safari game drives included
- One-way charter flight from Madikwe Game Reserve air strip to Johannesburg (JNB)
- One-way economy class flight from Johannesburg (JNB) to Cape Town (CPT)
- 4 nights in Cape Town at the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, or similar
- Private full-day Cape Peninsula Tour
- Sundowner drinks on Signal Hill
- High Tea at The Mount Nelson
- Private full-day Cape Winelands tour
- Breakfast daily
Great Ways to Explore
- Be sure to try delicious local specialties such as Chakalaka, Biltong, Bobotie, and Braii (barbeque).
- Soak up some sun on beautiful Clifton 3rd Beach, Cape Town’s top gay beach!
- Unleash your wild side during your stay at a traditional safari lodge, and also get a bird’s eye view on your hot-air-balloon safari!
- Wander around De Waterkant, Cape Town’s trendy, totally gay neighborhood filled with good food, vibrant nightlife, and charming shops.
- Experience the bustle of Johannesburg, a visit to the township of Soweto, and a tour of the Cape Winelands!
Get ready to experience the very best of stunning South Africa! Your journey begins in bustling Johannesburg, where you’ll start strong with unique experiences. Sail up, up, and away in a hot air balloon as you look down at majestic mountains and impressive wildlife below. Immerse yourself in vibrant culture as you tour Soweto, a township known for its history of political unrest. Have fun exploring “Joburg,” a city that boasts an interesting blend of South African tradition and sleek modernism.
Next, take a flight into the wild! You’ll spend a few nights in the African bush at Madikwe Game Reserve. Enjoy unforgettable safari rides, fun activities, delicious food, and luxurious accommodations. Keep your eyes out and your camera ready! You never know when a lion, elephant, or giraffe may say hello.
The last leg of your vacation will be spent in the colorful, laid back city of Cape Town. Enjoy a full-day, private tour of the Cape Peninsula, stand next to adorable penguins at Boulders Beach, and sip the day away on a private winelands tour! Gaze out at amazing views from Signal Hill, then hang out in De Waterkant, Cape Town’s predominantly gay neighborhood, lined with quaint shops, cool cafes, and lively bars. Soak up some sun on Clifton 3rd beach, Cape Town’s known gay beach, where bright blue waters meet a fun, party-like atmosphere.
Day 1. Welcome to Johannesburg!
Today, you’ll land in one of Africa’s biggest and most vibrant cities! “Joburg,” as locals call it, is an exciting blend of traditional culture, exquisite restaurants, interesting museums, and ultra modern skyscrapers. Nearby townships, including well-known Soweto, tell colorful and complicated stories of tradition, political unrest, and fascinating history.
Upon arrival, you’ll enjoy a relaxing transfer to your first accommodation. Once you’re all settled, spend the rest of the day exploring the area!
Transfer from Johannesburg airport (JNB) to Johannesburg hotel
Day 2. Johannesburg
Get ready for a magical morning! Sail over breathtaking landscapes as you enjoy a sunrise ballooning safari over the Magaliesburg Mountains. Yes, this does mean you’ll have to wake up early, but it’ll all be worth it!
Once you float back down from cloud nine, you’ll embark on an exciting tour of Soweto! Visit Nelson Mandela’s former home, historic museums, and more. You may even be able to meet the local people and try some traditional foods! As soon as you arrive at Soweto, you’ll become immersed in the warm spirit of this fascinating area.
Early Morning Ballooning Safari
Get ready for a true once-in-a-lifetime experience! Yes, you do have to wake up early, but it’ll be totally worth it. Enjoy a comfortable transfer to the balloon launch site, then get ready for the ride of a lifetime!
Float over the majestic Magaliesburg Mountains and marvel at sweeping views of the breathtaking Magalies River Valley. This specific area boasts some of the best ballooning weather in the world! Be on the lookout for impressive wildlife as you sail through the air.
After a blissful hour, you will gently float back down to earth, where sparkling wine, fresh juice, and a delicious breakfast await you!
Soweto Cultural Experience (half-day)
Immerse yourself in history and culture on this unforgettable Soweto Day Tour. On this excursion, you’ll experience the highlights of this iconic township, including Nelson Mandela’s former home, the Hector Pieterson museum (he was one of the school children shot in the 1976 Soweto Uprising), and much more.
Dive right into Soweto culture by meeting people from the local community, trying traditional foods, and maybe even sipping some Omgombothi (traditional beer) at a shebeen (bar)!
On this unique tour, you’ll soak up the vibrant buzz of the Soweto streets, the savory aroma of pavement-cooked meals, and the warmth of township life. Experience the humanity and hospitality, of the local people – the “ubuntu,” as it is called in South Africa.
Day 3. Johannesburg – Madikwe Game Reserve
Recharge with a pleasant breakfast, then head to the airport and board your flight to Madikwe Game Reserve. Prepare to unleash your wild side on this once-in-a-lifetime safari adventure!
Once you’re all settled into your safari lodge accommodation, set out on your first game drive!
Transfer from Johannesburg hotel to Johannesburg airport (JNB)
Charter flight from Johannesburg (JNB) to Madikwe Game Reserve air strip
Transfer from Madikwe Game Reserve air strip to Madikwe safari lodge
Day 4. Madikwe Game Reserve
Feel yourself flutter with excitement as you wake up for your early morning game drive in the African bush. Spot everything from zebra to elephants, and hear the calls of birds and adorable Vervet monkeys!
Enjoy some leisure time and fun activities at the lodge, then get ready for your afternoon drive!
Day 5. Madikwe Game Reserve
Who knows what you might see today! Maybe a lion, a cheetah, a rhino, or all three! In between fun-filled safari drives, take advantage of the lodge’s luxurious amenities. Take a nature walk, indulge in delicious food and drink, and pamper yourself with a spa treatment!
Day 6. Madikwe Game Reserve – Cape Town
Set out on one last safari ride, enjoy breakfast, then wave goodbye to the wild. After a quick flight, say hello to the laid back city of unique cuisine, pristine beaches, and colorful culture: Cape Town!
Upon arrival in this vibrant city, enjoy a convenient transfer to your hotel. Tonight, treat yourself to a delicious dinner on Bree or Kloof Street! These restaurant-lined streets are locals’ go-to spots for hip bars and trendy cafes.
Transfer from Madikwe safari lodge to Madikwe Game Reserve air strip
Charter flight from Madikwe Game Reserve air strip to Johannesburg (JNB)
Transfer from Cape Town airport (CPT) to Cape Town hotel
Day 7. Cape Town
Prepare for a day of jaw-dropping natural beauty! Embark on a private, full day tour of the spectacular Cape Peninsula, where you’ll experience bright blue waters, soaring cliffs, vibrant flora, and amazing wildlife. Take tons of photos at Chapman’s Peak, spot a baboon at Cape Point, and hang out with adorable penguins at Boulders Beach!
After the tour, the fun continues! In the late afternoon, you’ll be taken to Signal Hill, where you’ll sip on refreshing sundowner drinks and gaze out at an unforgettable sunset over the seaside city.
Cape Peninsula Tour (full-day)
Day 8. Cape Town
Sleep in a little – today’s a great day to relax. Enjoy a pleasant breakfast, then spend the day at leisure. You might want to check out Clifton 3rd Beach, known for being one of the most picture-perfect beaches in Cape Town – and it just so happens that it’s a gay hotspot!
Pinkies up! In the afternoon, indulge in a delightful High Tea at the legendary Mount Nelson Hotel. Made famous by foodies, bloggers, and travel writers, this afternoon tea is an unforgettable experience. Taste the sweet and savory flavors of fresh berry pastries, quiche, finger sandwiches, smoked salmon choux pastry puffs, empanadas, and much more. You’ll feel like royalty in the hotel’s elegant Victorian atmosphere!
Be sure to walk around the trendy, predominantly gay neighborhood of De Waterkant. Filled with lively bars, art galleries, and unique shops, this adorable area is nestled at the base of Signal Hill, right in-between the bustling V&A Waterfront, colorful Bo-Kaap, and renowned Long Street.
High Tea at The Mount Nelson
No visit to Cape Town is complete without experiencing Mount Nelson Hotel’s legendary Afternoon Tea. Taste delightful old favorites, which include Black Forrest Gateau, Raspberry Vanilla Cream Cake and Smoked Salmon Choux Pastry Puffs. In addition, you’ll try Gingerbread and Gianduja Cake; Passion Fruit and White Chocolate Cake, and fresh from the oven savory Empanadas with assorted fillings like Curried Mince, Lamb or Mushroom and Goats Cheese.
The hotel’s best loved Baked Cheesecake, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Éclairs, Coconut Ice, Battenberg’s, Mini Quiches and Finger Sandwiches with fillings ranging from Cucumber and Cream Cheese to Rare Roast Beef and Egg Mayonnaise still prevail. Feel like royalty and enjoy this elegant afternoon!
Day 9. Cape Town
Say “cheers” to a great day! Spend the day sipping your way through the picturesque Cape Winelands. Today, your private guide will take you to the famous vineyards of Paarl, Franschhoek, and Stellenbosch.
Be sure to try South Africa’s signature red: Pinotage! It’s known for its smokey, smooth flavor, which pairs perfectly with South Africa’s meat-filled cuisine.
Winelands Tour (Full-Day)
Tour through South Africa’s Winelands by starting with a brief tour of Paarl, home to wine producers such as Laborie, Nederburg, Fairview, KWV, Plaisir de Merle, and more. Work your way through to Franschhoek, a cozy little town home to some of the country’s top restaurants and where Nelson Mandela was released in 1990: Groot Drakenstein Prison.
Continue on to Stellenbosch where student life, oak-lined avenues, cuisine to delight any foodie, and architecture blend together harmoniously to create an atmosphere rich in art galleries, chic eateries, and charming boutiques.
Day 10. Depart South Africa
Squeeze all your souvenirs into your luggage, then meet your transfer to Cape Town International Airport (CPT). Look out the window and wave goodbye to beautiful South Africa; until next time.
Spend your relaxing flight home replaying all of your happy memories and dreaming about your next adventure!