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New! South Africa: The Royal Portfolio Edition (2017)
Limited to 16 guests
Days: 12 | From: $13,495
Day 1: Johannesburg, South Africa
Arrive in Johannesburg and transfer to your exclusive hotel located in the tranquil suburb of Sandhurst. Tonight, enjoy a gourmet welcome dinner and become better acquainted with your fellow guests.
Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa | Meals: D
Day 2: Greater Kruger Area | Thornybush Game Reserve
This morning, fly to Royal Malewane, located in the Thornybush Private Game Reserve. This exclusive, luxury safari getaway is ideal for those who value privacy, personalized service and outstanding game viewing. Boasting unparalleled views, your luxuriously appointed suite provides an elegant colonial-style refuge in the heart of the bush. Each suite features en suite bathrooms, full air conditioning, a private wooden deck, rim-flow pool and thatched gazebo. Your afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the game viewing activities on offer. From expert rangers and trackers to specialist photographic safaris, Royal Malewane offers a classical safari experience where nature is paramount. In addition to Africa’s iconic “Big Five” of leopards, lions, buffalo, elephants and rhinos, the game reserve is also home to over 130 mammal and 300 bird species, as well as an incredible array of plant life.
Royal Malewane | Meals: B L D
Days 3-4: Greater Kruger Area | On Safari
Enjoy two full days of game viewing at Royal Malewane. Tailored to suit your interests, game drives at this private reserve afford the perfect opportunity to track your favorite animal or glimpse exotic birds. To experience the landscape even more intimately, explore the bush on foot with expert guides and trackers at your side. Game drives at dawn and dusk form the basic rhythm of the day, as the sun rising and setting aligns with a pattern of deep, ancient significance.
Royal Malewane | Meals: B L D
Day 5: Hermanus | Luxurious Seaside Retreat
Fly to Cape Town, continuing overland to the chic seaside town of Hermanus. Located on a stunning clifftop, Birkenhead House offers exhilarating ocean views and close proximity to the beach. This afternoon, savor the sea air as you walk the beachfront boardwalk, or take in the coastline and majestic mountains from the comfort and luxury of your suite’s balcony. Indulge in the freshest seafood and delectable international cuisine during tonight’s dinner at the hotel.
Birkenhead House | Meals: B D
Day 6: Hermanus | Coastal Culinary Adventure
This morning, forage along the shoreline with Birkenhead House’s executive chef for plants and mussels (subject to tides). Relax with leisure time at your luxury property, indulging in one of the restorative treatments on offer at the spa. You may also opt to head out and explore more of the village on your own. Later this evening, enjoy a delicious four-course dinner incorporating the handpicked ingredients foraged earlier — each course expertly paired with wines from the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley.
Birkenhead House | Meals: B D
Day 7: Franschhoek | A Taste of the Wine Country
Today, visit the nearby Hamilton Russel Vineyards, a pioneer of viticulture and winemaking in the cool, maritime enclave of the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Experience a vertical tasting, savoring five vintages (2010–14) of South Africa’s premier Pinot Noir. Next, transfer to La Residence, an exclusive sanctuary in South Africa’s gourmet capital of Franschhoek. Take in a vast, mountainous backdrop from the heart of a private 30-acre working farm complete with vineyards and plum orchards. Unwind in the villa’s magnificent infinity pool, or visit one of the award-winning restaurants in the village. Later this afternoon, enjoy an estate tour through the orchards, vineyards and herb garden, selecting ingredients for a gourmet dinner. Back at the hotel, savor a chocolate and wine pairing. Later this evening, enjoy a gourmet dinner accompanied by a host of local wines.
La Residence | Meals: B D
Day 8: Franschhoek | Delving Deeper into the Winelands
Spend a full day exploring Franschhoek, the quaint Huguenot village known as the “French Corner.” Browse the charming boutique galleries and antique shops. Visit a local wine estate for a private cellar experience and vineyard tour with the winemaker. Continue on for a private wine blending experience at Grand Provance, an elegant estate that has presided over these vineyards for 300 years. After lunch, take in a vast collection of contemporary South African art at the estate’s private gallery. Finally, return to the hotel for an evening at leisure.
La Residence | Meals: B L
Day 9: Cape Town | Savoring the Scenic Route
En route to Cape Town, enjoy a guided culinary walking tour of historic Stellenbosch, a charming wine country hamlet of Cape Dutch houses and oak-lined streets. Take in the small town’s open-air galleries, pausing for local wine and cheese tastings along the way. Visit a local family-run butchery and sample their traditional dried meat snacks (biltong and droëwors) at a trendy wine bar. Grab some nostalgic sweets at Oom Samie’s Shop, the oldest establishment in town. Next, sit down to a heritage lunch platter served at the oldest hotel in the country. Afterward, relax on the banks of the Eerste River, sampling various cape desserts over wine or coffee. Continue on to The Silo, Cape Town’s newest luxury hotel. Reclaimed from a historic grain silo complex, the hotel sits above the new Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA), and features 28 bespoke rooms where colorful, eclectic pieces juxtapose the modern, industrial architecture. Later this evening, enjoy a special reception and dinner at The Silo to celebrate your first night in Cape Town.
The Silo | Meals: B L D
Day 10: Cape Point | Where the Mountains Meet the Sea
Spend a full day discovering Cape Point, a mountainous peninsula jutting out from the very edge of the continent. Journey past beachgoers relaxing on the seashore below the towering Twelve Apostles Mountains, continuing up and over iconic Chapman’s Peak Drive. Visit the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, home to rare bonteboks, chacma baboons and native plant species found nowhere else on the planet. Next, ride the Flying Dutchman Funicular to the peak of Cape Point, a blustery pinnacle towering over the treacherous reefs, sandy beaches and sunken shipwrecks below. From July to November, you may also catch a glimpse of the magnificent Southern right whale. Next, visit a colony of endangered African penguins at Boulders Beach. Accustomed to humans, these tuxedoed ambassadors of the peninsula rarely shy away from the camera. Cap your excursion off with a privately guided tour of Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden, home to a diverse collection of indigenous plants spanning five biomes. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure, enjoying your hotel, exploring the city’s harborfront and boutiques, or dining in one of Cape Town’s world-class restaurants.
The Silo | Meals: B L
Day 11: Cape Town | Robben Island & Table Mountain
This morning, gain insider access to Robben Island, home to one of the notorious prisons where iconic anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela was held. Set out on a private tour of this moving UNESCO World Heritage Site, learning about the island’s 400-year history and viewing one of the cells where the late president was held during his 27 years of imprisonment. After lunch, drive through the scenic, shrub-dotted landscape to Table Mountain, ascending its sky-high plateau by cable car (weather permitting) for dazzling views of the city and sea. Next, venture to Old Cape Town for glimpses of City Hall, the Grand Parade and Groote Kerk, South Africa’s oldest church. Conclude with a stroll through the tranquil Company Gardens, a national mall encompassing the Houses of Parliament, Tuynhuis (presidential residence), National Art Gallery and National Library. This evening, enjoy a special farewell dinner with your fellow guests.
The Silo | Meals: B L D
Day 12: Depart Cape Town
Today, transfer to Cape Town Airport, where you are assisted with check-in for your departing flight.
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