We hope that this example holiday will give you give some inspiration to help you begin to plan your own dream holiday to Africa.
The next couple of pages show a summary of the itinerary, followed by a detailed page on each destination.
Important travel information for visitors to South Africa is included at the back of this document.
All the holidays we offer to our clients are tailor-made so we can adjust this trip to fit in with your travel dates, interests, preferred accommodation...and of course your budget.
All our travel consultants have extensive knowledge of travel throughout Southern and East Africa, and our strong relationships with suppliers mean that our rates to you will always be competitive.
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The Travel Butlers Team
Holiday Title: South African Spendour
Holiday Destination: Holiday to South Africa for 14 nights
Passengers: 2 Adults
*Excludes international flights from your home country - please ask us if you would like us to include these for you.
ABTOT provides protection for your booking as set out in Section 6 of our booking conditions.
Holiday Title: South African Spendour
Passengers: 2 Adults
Arrive into Cape Town Airport. Once you have collected your luggage, make your way into the Arrivals Hall where your driver will meet you. You will then be transferred to Franschhoek.
Franschhoek is nestled at the bottom of a valley, surrounded by rolling mountains, and is arguably one of the prettiest villages in South Africa. There are over 20 wine estates in the region and one suggestion during your stay here is to take a hop-on/hop-off tour on the Franschhoek Wine Tram - a totally unique and leisurely way to see the Franschhoek Valley as you trundle in an open-side tram bus through vineyards and stunning scenery, stopping at wine estates along the way.
The Cape Winelands
Your hire car will be delivered to the guest house at 09:00. Complete the necessary paperwork - you will need to present your driving licence, passport and credit card. The keys to your hire car will then be handed over to you. You can then set off on the drive to Hermanus - about 100 km, so allow about 80 minutes.
5 Day Car Rental: Group F Standard Sedan - Toyota Corolla Quest Automatic or similar (Classic Plus Cover GPS PACKAGE)
Located on the south coast and within a 2 hour drive of Cape Town, Hermanus is amongst the world's leading destinations for both land-based and boat-based whale watching. From June to November each year, whales can be seen as close as 20m from the shore and can come right up to the side of the whale watching boats. If you don't have sea legs, good whale watching vantage points from dry land are from the Old Harbour wall, or from the 12 km cliff path.
Drive to Cape Town (approx 120 km / 1 h 30 mins). Cape Town has been voted as the best place in the world to visit by the prestigious New York Times. Ride the revolving cable car to the top of Table Mountain, shop at the V&A Waterfront - one of Africa's premier shopping destinations, or delve into South Africa's past at Robben Island, the prison that once held one of the world's greatest heroes, Nelson Mandela.
Your hire car will be collected from the guest house at 16:00.
You will be collected and transferred to the Cape Town Railway Station.
Check in at 12:30 at the Blue Train Station Lounge at Cape Town Railway Station and enjoy pre-departure snacks and drinks before boarding commences at 13:15. The train will depart at 14:00.
The Blue Train
High Tea is served at 16:00 in the Lounge Car. You will then have time to relax before dinner. There are 2 sittings - the first is between 18:30 and 20:00; and the second is from 20:15 until 22:00. Dinner is an elegant affair and after dinner, you can enjoy post-dinner drinks in the Club Car before retiring to bed.
Breakfast is served between 06:00 and 09:00. Lunch is then served, again in 2 sittings - the first between 11:30 and 13:00; the second between 13:15 and 14:30. At 14:00, the train arrives into Kimberley Station and guests can disembark here and will be taken by bus to the Kimberley Open Mine Museum for a tour of the mine (famous for being where the first ever diamonds in the country were discovered) and to the edge of the Big Hole - considered to be one of the deepest cavities excavated by man with a depth of 200 m2. One of the most interesting facts about the Big Hole in Kimberley is that after the mining operations were finally over, the Big Hole become the most visited tourist attraction in Kimberley. Guests are then taken back to the train, which departs Kimberley Station at 18:30. Dinner is then served in 2 sittings again.
Breakfast is served between 06:30 and 10:30. The train pulls into Pretoria's Rail Station at midday.
You will be met and transferred to Castello di Monte.
At Castello di Monte it is easy to believe that you had found paradise. The Tuscan style estate portrays pure luxury and elegance and offers spectacular views of the hills in and around the capital city. The landscaped gardens with mature olive trees and lavender bushes give an Italian flavour to the African landscape. You will hardly notice that you are in the middle of a bustling city.
You will be collected at around 14:00 for an afternoon guided tour of Pretoria City. Pretoria is informally known as the 'Jacaranda City', for its beautiful purple lined streets when the jacaranda trees are in full bloom. Take this opportunity to stand in front of the heart of the country overlooking a city built on passion and determination, where buildings are architecturally significant and a nation congregates around statues of past leaders. Highlights include Paul Kruger House, Church Square, Voortrekker Monument, Union Buildings and City Hall.
You will be collected and transferred to the Madikwe Game Reserve - the drive is about 4.5 hours.
The malaria-free Madikwe Private Game Reserve covers some 75,000 hectares and is one of the largest game reserves in South Africa. The Big 5 is represented in the Park and you are likely to spot a lion, leopard, elephant, rhino or buffalo during your stay. During your visit you may also have the rare privilege of seeing the highly endangered African Wild Dog. The Park is home to over 66 species of large mammals and roughly 340 bird species. During your stay at Impodimo, relax as your ranger guides you through the bush on a custom made open Land Rover. Inbetween game drives, relax at the pool or the sala overlooking a waterhole. In the evenings, enjoy a dinner under the stars in the open air boma and listen to the sounds of the bush all around you.
Madikwe Game Reserve
After you return from your morning game drive, you will have time to enjoy breakfast before you need to depart for the drive back to Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport, arriving in time to check in for your flight home.
South Africa is today one of the major producers and exporters of wines worldwide, and has been producing wine since the middle of the 17th century. Franschhoek is nestled at the bottom of a valley, surrounded by rolling mountains, and is arguably one of the most prettiest villages in South Africa.
There are over 20 wine estates in the region, and staying in the area will give you the chance to either search out the labels you are familiar with from home or to go on a voyage of discovery and find new favourites.
The main street in Franschhoek is home to many excellent restaurants, and no fewer than 8 feature in the country's Top 100, quite deservedly earning the town the reputation of being South Africa's 'Food and Wine Capital'. Other activities include walking trails, hiking, cycling, horse-riding, fly fishing and golf. For those more adventurous, paragliding offers a stunning bird's eye view of the area. Or simply amble among an array of art shops, galleries and specialist stores that grace the village centre.
Franschhoek Country House & Villas is a 5* hotel in the heart of the Franschhoek valley complimented by the well known Monneaux Restaurant. Situated on the outskirts of the Franschhoek Village, only 1 km from the main town, it is an ideal base to indulge your tastes for fine wines and world class cuisine.
The famous Monneaux Restaurant ranks among South Africa's top restaurants and serves an inspired contemporary take on the classics. Lunch is enjoyed on the fountain terrace under a spreading pepper tree while dinner is enjoyed in the elegant but relaxed dining room in the original manor house.
There are 2 swimming pools for relaxing around after a day of sightseeing and wine tasting, or pamper yourself with a range of Spa treatments including massages, reflexology, facials, manicures and pedicures.
The original Franschhoek Country House offers a choice of accommodation, including the charming Standard Rooms, Luxury Rooms and Garden Cottages. Whichever you choose, the accommodation on offer is designed with your comfort and luxury experience in mind.
The luxurious Villa Suites offer discerning guests demanding opulence and space in a relaxed country setting. Arguably the best suites on offer in the Winelands, the suites are each a total of 100 sqm in size which include a separate lounge, bedroom and picturesque bathroom and 2 private balconies.
|Room:||1 x Luxury Room|
|Includes:||Breakfast is included.|
The 5* Marine Hotel is a member of the Relais & Chateaux Association and has secured its position among the finest hotels in the world.
The Marine is one of South Africa’s most spectacular seaside hotels. Located on Hermanus’ famous cliff path, overlooking the breathtaking Walker Bay in the Western Cape’s Overberg region, the hotel is the ultimate location for whale watching during whale season – often directly from the comfort of the sea view bedrooms.
Stroll along the cliff-hugging path to the golf club and view the miles of white sandy beach beyond. Otherwise, there's the sparkling, heated courtyard pool, perfect for catching some African sun. Spend the remainder of your day in the reading Room or watch (in Spring) the Southern Right Whales play in the bay.
Carchele Health and Beauty Spa provides an experience not to be missed. A comprehensive list of treatments is available to refresh and revitalise your body, mind and spirit.
The Marine Hotel has 40 individually decorated bedrooms and suites, each with private facilities.
All rooms are arranged in the highest standard of style and comfort. The bathrooms, a study in marble, chrome and luxurious deep pile towelling, offer the perfect recipe for relaxation amongst the bubbles.
Many have commanding views across Walker Bay or into the beautiful internal courtyards with its swimming pool and garden.
|Room:||1 x Luxury Double Sea View|
|Includes:||Breakfast is included.|
Nestled at the foot of the majestic Table Mountain and bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Town is consistently voted amongst the top cities in the world to visit and it is no surprise that this wonderful city is one of the highlights of a holiday to South Africa. The climate is Mediterranean, with mild winters and hot summers.
One of the main tourist attractions is the tastefully restored V&A Waterfront with its many shops, bars and restaurants. There is also an aquarium and one of the largest craft markets in Southern Africa. Boats offer tours of the harbour from the quayside and the whole place is always buzzing with life and activity. The City Bowl is home to many museums and historical buildings which can all be viewed from a 'topless' hop on/hop off tourist bus, complete with interesting commentary as you ride around the city.
The adventurous can climb up (or abseil down) Table Mountain, windsurf or kitesurf at Bloubergstrand Beach, dive in shark tanks, or do any one of a dozen more adrenalin pumping activities. For a more relaxed pace of life, there are miles of sandy beaches for soaking up the African sun, or enjoy a quiet stroll through the beautiful Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
The Cape Cadogan is a stately double-storeyed Georgian and Victorian building that dates back to the beginning of the 19th century, and was declared a national monument in 1984. The hotel is situated in the heart of Cape Town, just off the fashionable Kloof Street, so some of Cape Towns' finest restaurants are a leisurely stroll away, and you are just a short drive from the beaches at Camps Bay, Table Mountain and the V&A Waterfront.
The lounge and breakfast room have been carefully designed to provide every creature comfort without sparing on the fine detail. There is also a garden and pool area, and a library where you can relax and read or research your itinerary from the computer terminal provided for your convenience.
Each of the 15 rooms are individually decorated, marrying a touch of yesteryear with contemporary chic and bohemian influence. The choice of room at Cape Cadogan is largely dependent on your personal preference and budget. Regardless of room category, comfort is never compromised and the warmth of the charming environment seeps its way through to every corner.
|Room:||1 x Classic Room|
|Includes:||Breakfast is included.|
The Cape Town to Pretoria journey on the Blue Train offers guests a compelling and unforgettable combination of luxury train travel, world-class service, and fine dining, all set against a magnificent ever-changing backdrop of the beautiful South African countryside.
This unforgettable journey takes 2 nights, departing Cape Town at 16:00 on selected days throughout the year. As the sky darkens over the landscape on your first night aboard, you adorn yourself in your finest silks and satins, diamonds and pearls, tuxedos and ties, as you prepare to dine in the subtle intimacy of a table for 2 in the Dining Car.
The next day after a relaxing morning and a sumptuous lunch, you arrive at Kimberley Station, where you visit the Kimberley Open Mine Museum. Experience this town as it was during the diamond years, and see the largest uncut diamond in the world, and also visit the Big Hole - the largest hand-dug excavation in the world.
Having spent a second night on the train, breakfast can be enjoyed at leisure and is served between 06:00 and 09:00. The train arrives into Pretoria at 10:30, and you will be assisted by your butler to disembark and make your way into the Arrivals Lounge.
The individually controlled air-conditioned Luxury and Deluxe Suites all offer the choice of twin or double bed sleeping arrangements, made up every night by your onboard butler with the finest bed linen. Private en-suite marble tiled bathrooms offer showers or deep baths for luxuriant soaking.
The Blue Train’s slogan is "A window to the soul of Africa" and as guests are transported in this steel beauty, the landscape of Africa never seizes to inspire and amaze.
|Room:||1 x Deluxe Suite|
|Includes:||All meals; high tea; drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic but excluding French champagne); and off-the-train excursions are included.|
Castello di Monte is a 5* guest house, situated in Pretoria. The Tuscan style estate portrays pure luxury and elegance and offers spectacular views of the hills in and around the capital city. The landscaped gardens with mature olive trees and lavender bushes give an Italian flavour to the African landscape and you will hardly notice that you are in the middle of a bustling city.
With 7 intimate dining areas you are never short of variety. Each area offers a tantalising experience and view, complimented by the mouthwatering international cuisine.
For total relaxation, why not order a special wellness treatment in the comfort of your room, or enjoy a sauna and steam shower.
The outdoor Roman styled swimming pool brings relief to a hot summers day, or relax and enjoy a refreshing cocktail from the bar. You can even enjoy a game of chess at the roof top chess set that gives you a sense of the outdoors as you gaze across the vast expanse of Pretoria.
For the more active person, there are 2 golf courses and a Virgin Active Gym close by.
For your stay here, you will be spoiled for choice. Will it be the Presidential Suite complete with a grand fireplace and a 4 poster bed, or the Honeymoon Suite decorated with hand painted murals, or one of the freshly styled Classic or Terrace Rooms rooms fit for royalty. Whichever room you choose, a sumptuous night sleep is ensured.
Castello di Monte's 16th century splendour is complimented by every modern amenity. From fully stocked minibars and DSTV right down to underfloor heating, air-conditioning and the creature comforts of tea, coffee and local papers, at Castello di Monte your every whim is catered for.
|Room:||1 x Classic Room|
|Includes:||Breakfast is included.|
Impodimo Game Lodge is located on the malaria free Madikwe Game Reserve, which boasts 75,000 hectares of Big 5 game viewing territory.
Enjoy an early morning game drive with your dedicated professional ranger on a custom made open game viewing vehicle. Return from the excitement of the bush to a sumptuous breakfast or brunch and then relax at the pool or the sala overlooking the waterhole where game may come to drink. A morning in the bush is not complete without a massage treatment on your private deck by one of the experienced massage therapists.
In the afternoon, head out again on another safari game drive, where you will stop to watch the sun set and enjoy your favourite sundowner drink. Once darkness descends, you set off for the drive back to the lodge, using a spotlight to search out the nocturnal creatures who now rule the bush. When you return to the lodge, you will have time to freshen up quickly before you are treated to the finest Pan-African cuisine for dinner - maybe in the open air boma around the fire.
The lodge has an air conditioned underground hide, which is accessed by a tunnel with walls lined with photography and art. The hide offers a well-stocked refrigerator, coffee machine and tea station, bean bags to place camera equipment on, and lounging areas with a library of books. Viewing windows have one-way glass, enhancing game-viewing.
Each of the 8 glass fronted luxury suites enjoy uninterrupted views over the reserve from a private deck.
There is also a 2 bedroomed Deluxe/Family Suite which can sleep up to 4 adults and 2 children, comprising of 2 en-suite rooms joined by a central lounge and dining area. The suite also has a private viewing deck overlooking the waterhole, and a private plunge pool fitted with a safety net when not in use for guests staying here with younger children. This unit comes with the services of a private guide, tracker, and open 4x4 game viewer. For an additional cost, the services of a private chef and butler can also be included, meaning all your meals can be enjoyed in the privacy of the unit making this an exclusive experience that takes the safari experience to a whole new level.
|Room:||1 x Luxury Suite|
|Includes:||Luxury Suite: All meals; select local and imported drinks; tea/coffee and snacks; the Madikwe Conservation Levy; the Madikwe Gate entry fee; daily morning/afternoon shared game drives; and optional bush walks are included.
Children under the age of 16 years are not permitted on guided walks in the reserve. Guests over 60 years old wishing to join a guided walk are required to have a letter or certificate from their doctor confirming they are in good health and are physically fit to do the walk. Details on request.
Please Note: As the animals are wild, it is not possible to guarantee what you will see during your safari.
Normally, holders of the following passports do not require a visa to enter South Africa when travelling as a tourist for stays up to 90 days: United Kingdom; United States of America; Canada; Australia; Ireland; Belgium; Netherlands; Italy; France; Germany; Spain, Switzerland.
If you are a passport holder from another country, please contact your local South Africa High Commission or Embassy for up-to-date visa requirements, as citizens of certain countries (including New Zealand) are required to obtain visas before travelling. Please note that if you are applying to the Embassy for your visa, some visas can take a long time to be processed so please do take this into consideration, as it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct visa in place before you travel. The government will launch its new eVisa (Electronic Visa) system in March 2022. The system will simplify international visitors’ visa applications to South Africa.
Children under 18 years of age who require a visa to enter South Africa may be required to provide additional information when applying for the visa including an unabridged birth certificate and affidavit if travelling with only one parent. There are also additional rules for unaccompanied minors and/or South African children - details available on request or via the SA Department of Home Affairs at http://www.dha.gov.za.
Please note that anyone travelling to South Africa should have a valid return ticket and a valid passport. Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 30 days from the date of exit from South Africa. However, some immigration officials still request that a passport should have at least 6 months validity from the date of entry to South Africa so to avoid problems on arrival, we advise that your passport meets this requirement instead. The passport must also have sufficient pages for entry/exit stamps - AT LEAST 2 BLANK PAGES.
South Africa has implemented biometric capturing at all ports of entry. This may result in some delays at land borders so you should allow additional time for border crossings.
PLEASE NOTE: Countries can change their entry requirements at any time. Travel Butlers try to ensure that the information displayed here is correct, but the onus remains with the traveller to verify the information with the relevant High Commission or Embassy and ensure that they can comply with the applicable entry requirements.
You are advised to contact your doctor or clinic around 4-8 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations and to get their professional medical advice regarding travel to South Africa.
To help avoid heatstroke, drink plenty of bottled water/fluids, and keep out of the midday sun.
Tap water is purified and safe to drink in major cities and towns, however, we do advise that you do not drink the water in more remote places such as the camps in the National Parks - the water may be safe to drink, but it simply is not worth the risk, as bottled water is widely available.
Whatever you do, do not drink water from any river lake without firstly purifying the water. Always take water with you when you go on a hike, and have a bottle in the car on a long journey to avoid dehydration.
There is a risk of malaria in and around the Kruger National Park/Mpumalanga Province, the Limpopo (Northern) Province, and the north-eastern part of KwaZulu-Natal - check with your doctor about suitable antimalarial tablets. Try to avoid mosquito bites wherever possible - wear loose long-sleeved clothing and trousers, and use a repellent on clothing and exposed skin.
There is no risk of yellow fever in South Africa, so a yellow fever vaccination is NOT required for travellers whose sole destination is South Africa. However, in accordance with International Health Reguations, South Africa requires all travellers over one year of age arriving from a yellow fever risk country, or having been in transit longer than 12 hours at the airport of such a country, to have a yellow fever certificate. These countries include Kenya and Uganda but it is up to the traveller to check the full list here https://nathnacyfzone.org.uk/factsheet/60/yellow-fever-maps
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 10177 and ask for an ambulance.
The 11 official languages are Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, Pedi, English, Tswana, Sotho, Tsonga, Swati, Venda and Ndebele. Whilst many visitors will hear at least a couple of the tribal languages during the course of their stay, it is possible to travel extensively and comfortably with just English as a language.
The South African society is quite liberal, as gay marriage was legalised in 2006 nationwide and everyone’s rights are protected under the constitution. In some more rural areas, however, the local people may not be quite as liberal thinking, so whilst everyone is of course entitled to their own sexual preferences and gender identity, we would advise all clients of the LGBT+ community to refrain from public displays of affection (including kissing and holding hands) and to be as discrete as possible about their relationship if travelling to a rural/remote area.
Travel Butlers have 20 years experience of booking travel to Africa and the Indian Ocean for clients from all around the world. In this time we have supported clients through disruptions caused by numerous unexpected events including natural disasters, localised disease outbreaks and airline cancellations. Nobody can be certain exactly what will happen in the future, however Travel Butlers can offer you peace of mind and flexibility to ensure that you feel confident booking a holiday with us.
Our team are specialists in travel to Africa and the Indian Ocean, and we are constantly monitoring the changing situation regarding travel to the region. If your trip cannot go ahead due to specific travel restrictions related to Covid-19 then we will get in touch to offer you the choice of the following:
The specific Covid-19 travel restrictions are defined as follows:
We would not normally be able to confirm that your trip cannot proceed due to travel restrictions until a couple of weeks before the start of your trip, however should you want to look at postponing or altering your trip before then we would aim to be as flexible as possible.
If we confirm that your trip is unable to proceed due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, then we will not charge you an amendment fee if you choose to postpone your trip or move it to another destination. We may need to adjust the cost of your trip to reflect the new dates, particularly if those coincide with a more expensive season of travel or higher grade of accommodation. Equally, if the cost of your postponed trip is less, we will reduce the cost accordingly.
You should still take out travel insurance that includes Covid-19 to cover you in the event that your trip can go ahead but you are unable to travel due to illness or a change in your personal circumstances. If there are no travel restrictions in place that mean your trip could not go ahead but you need to cancel due to illness or a change in your personal circumstances then our normal terms and conditions would apply. You should ensure that your travel insurance provides adequate cover for cancelling due to illness, including Covid-19, and you may be able to make a claim against your travel insurance depending on the cover offered by your policy.
We offer 24/7 telephone assistance to all our clients whilst they are away, and also have partners in each country that are able to assist with any PCR tests or other issues that might arise during your trip.
If you fall ill whilst you are away, or if your trip is disrupted due to Covid-19 whilst you are travelling, then our experienced team will be on hand to assist you in whatever way you need. You would need to pay any additional costs incurred due to illness or travel disruption whilst you are away, however you may be able reclaim these expenses on your travel insurance depending on the cover offered by your policy. Travel Butlers will be able to assist by providing supporting documentation for your claim.
All of the holidays we sell are 100% financially protected through our ATOL and ABTOT bonding so your money is in safe hands when you book a Travel Butlers holiday. Furthermore, our business is well positioned to navigate through the challenges which the travel industry is currently facing.
Please read our Terms and Conditions for more information.
You can now get insurance that offers cover for disruption related to Covid-19, and these policies could include cover for:
Not all policies offer this kind of cover, not necessarily even all policies from the same provider, so you should ensure you check the policy details carefully before buying your insurance.
You can read more about choosing suitable travel insurance in the FCDO guide to travel insurance.