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: Whales, Wine and Wildlife
Holiday Destination: Holiday to South Africa for 12 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: Whales, Wine and Wildlife
Passengers: 2 Adults
Arrive into Cape Town Airport. Collect your luggage then make your way into the Arrivals Hall where your transfer driver will meet you. You will then be transferred to your first hotel.
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 Southern Sun The Cullinan is situated just on the edge of the vibrant V&A Waterfront, with postcard views of the harbour and Signal Hill.
Your hire car will be delivered to the hotel at 09:00 this morning. 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. With a hire car for your last day in Cape Town, you can explore slightly further afield - maybe taking a day trip down to the Cape Peninsula, stopping en-route there or back at Boulders Beach which is home to one of only 2 mainland nesting colonies of African penguins in South Africa.
11 Day Car Rental: Group D Economy Auto - Hyundai Venue Automatic or similar (Classic Plus Cover GPS PACKAGE)
Allow about half an hour to drive to Stellenbosch. Stellenbosch is the oldest town in South Africa after Cape Town and the oak-lined streets of this academic University town are home to many fine examples of elegant Cape Dutch, Victorian and Georgian architecture. There is a bustling sidewalk cafe scene and a vibrant nightlife and the many excellent restaurants offer a wide selection of dining options to choose from.
The Cape Winelands
Drive to the pretty little town of Hermanus (approx 75 km / 45 mins), one of the world's best whale viewing areas. 138 Marine is an upmarket guest house with spectacular sea views, only minutes from the centre of Hermanus and adjacent to the unique beach path ('Whale Walk') with its beautiful ocean and mountain scenery.
Drive to Knysna (approx 410 km / 4 h 0 mins), which is set on the shores of a beautiful lagoon in the heart of the Garden Route. The Knysna Lagoon is sheltered from the ocean by a coral reef and the Knysna Heads - two large cliff formations which form a natural narrow opening into the ocean. Several operators offer relaxing catamaran trips and sunset champagne cruises out to the Heads and into the open sea, which is a great way to escape the busy streets for a while. Nearby Brenton-on-Sea beach is a magnificent 7 km stretch of uninterrupted white sands around a half heart-shaped bay.
The Garden Route
Drive to Kariega Game Reserve (approx 385 km / 4 h 20 mins). Prepare to be captivated by close-up viewing of the Big 5 - lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo and leopard - as well as a multitude of other African wildlife and bird species. Experienced game rangers will drive you out on safari every morning and afternoon/evening in open game-drive vehicles, traversing the valleys, grassy plains and African bushveld to bring you close to the wildlife.
Kariega Game Reserve
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.
Southern Sun The Cullinan is a stylish and grand hotel that offers travellers easy access to most of Cape Town's venues and is within walking distance to the world-renowned V&A Waterfront.
Complementing the rich, cultural heritage of Cape Town through timeless architecture, the opulent decor creates a mood that is a world-away-from-home, while service and attention to detail ensure your every need is taken care of.
The 410 elegant and spacious hotel rooms all boast spectacular views over the many aspects of Cape Town - enjoy either the view of Table Mountain, the bustling Table Bay Harbour and Waterfront or the city centre.
Rooms are lavishly decorated with rich finishes and furnishing, and all offer luxurious private bathrooms and in room amenities to enhance your stay and make it as comfortable as possible.
The outdoor pool is ideal for those who enjoy a fresh dip in cool waters and the fully equipped gym is accessible to all guests of the hotel.
|Room:||1 x Standard Room|
|Includes:||Breakfast is included.|
Stellenbosch is the oldest town in South Africa after Cape Town and the oak-lined streets compliment the many fine examples of elegant Cape Dutch, Victorian and Georgian architecture in this well-preserved town. The town was founded in 1679 by Simon van der Stel, who named the town after himself.
An academic university town, Stellenbosch has a bustling sidewalk cafe scene and a vibrant nightlife. The many excellent restaurants offer a wide selection of dining options to choose from.
The Stellenbosch Wine Route, the oldest in the Cape, is one of South Africa's premier wine producing regions and can boast winning 70% of all the major wine awards and acolades (both locally and internationally) presented to the South African wine industry every year.
A day tour of this route is a must for any wine buff, or for anyone interested in sampling some of the fine wines and learning more about the wine producing methods and grape varieties. With over 100 cellars to choose from it is possible to experience every different wine style. Along with the wine tasting, stop and enjoy lunch at one of the many fine restaurants which offer superb home-cooked food in stunning settings. Maybe even take a few special bottles home with you when you go. Or book a guided wine tour and let someone else do the driving...
Since 1802 the Oude Werf Hotel, South Africa’s oldest continuously operating hotel, has been welcoming guests with its unique charm and character.
A stroll from the many historic attractions of the Winelands 'capital' of Stellenbosch, Oude Werf combines a centuries-old heritage with luxury contemporary comforts and intimate hospitality. Rest in one of 58 beautifully designed rooms, enjoy classic Cape flavours and vintages at the superb restaurant with its vine-covered courtyard, or relax around the pool with a good book.
The Superior Rooms overlook the leafy courtyard and pool - the ground floor rooms have shady garden patios, while rooms on the 2nd floor have step-out balconies. The Deluxe Rooms are decorated in the hotel's signature 'chic antique' contemporary style. The spacious Luxury Rooms have an open plan-style layout.
|Room:||1 x Deluxe Room|
|Includes:||Breakfast is included.|
Located on the south coast and within a 2 hour drive of Cape Town, Hermanus and Gansbaai are amongst the world's leading destinations for both land-based and boat-based whale watching. From June to December 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.
With excellent accommodation options, fine restaurants and a glorious coastline in addition to the attraction of getting within a few metres of some of the largest animals ever to have lived on this planet, this is a place that every visitor to South Africa should try to see.
Hermanus is a pretty town and the local 'Whale Crier' walks the streets during the whaling season, informing visitors when the whales are present with a blast on his kelp horn. At the Old Harbour Museum, an underwater microphone transmits the whale songs and calls into the museum hall for everyone to hear. Don't miss Bientang's Cave restaurant, where you can watch whales less than 100m away whilst eating an excellent seafood lunch. Other good vantage points are from the Old Harbour wall or the cliff path.
Gansbaai, 50 km from Hermanus, is the starting point for more boat-based whale watching, as well as cage diving with great white sharks, as well as trips to the Dyer Island seal colony.
138 Marine is a luxurious, upmarket beachfront guest house with spectacular sea views. It is situated just a stone's throw from a quaint assortment of village restaurants, craft markets, boutiques, bars, art galleries, charming little shops and unspoiled beaches, as well as two popular golf courses.
Spend lazy, sun-filled afternoons on the spacious terrace with panoramic views of the ocean and the mountains. Relax with a glass of wine on the deck next to the beach and enjoy magnificent views of breaking waves and spectacular African sunsets over the ocean, or watch the whales from the comfort of your bed during the whale watching season. The extensive breakfast menu changes daily and on request a platter can be provided to enjoy on the beach in front of the guest house.
There are 6 designer double rooms, each individually decorated and luxuriously fitted. No attention to detail has been spared in the superbly stylish decor. Under-floor heating, his and hers basins, heated towel rails, satellite TV and free Wi-Fi access are all part of your package here.
|Room:||1 x Luxury Room (Periwinkle Room)|
|Includes:||Breakfast is included.|
Belvidere Manor Hotel, situated on the west shore of the Knysna Lagoon, offers exclusive comfort in relaxed surroundings.
Relax by the swimming pool in the beautiful gardens (Belvidere Estate is a nature-lover's paradise with more than 270 bird species identified), or retreat to the secluded comfort of the sunny terrace or cosy fireplace in your own Cape-style cottage. Mornings are made for taking things easy and the afternoon is designed for rest and recovery...
Knysna's smallest pub is housed on the site of the original Belvidere farmhouse and a feature of the pub is the wine cellar viewed through the window in the floor, where freshly caught game would have been hung. With a yellowwood ceiling and ironwood block floor, The Bell is a quaint favourite of the Belvidere locals. Relish pub meals served outside in the garden in summer, but in the winter enjoy the cosy warmth of the wood-burning stove. Or savour delicious bistro meals at Caroline's Bistro, named after the first mistress of Belvidere, whilst taking in the best view of the Knysna Lagoon and surrounds. A 2 or 3 course table d'hote menu is offered daily.
Guests are accommodated in 28 individual cottages situated in 10 hectares of gardens. Offering single or double storey options, the cottages have either lagoon or garden views.
Each cottage has a wide veranda or 'stoep', a comfortable living room, a fully equipped kitchen and one, 2 or 3 double en-suite bedrooms. They are fully serviced.
There's every reason to stay at Belvidere. Trouble is, there's absolutely no reason to leave.
|Room:||1 x Garden Classic Cottage|
|Includes:||Breakfast is included.|
Only 80 minutes east of Port Elizabeth, a visit to Kariega Game Reserve is the perfect extension of your trip along South Africa's famous Garden Route. Set high above the spectacular Kariega River Valley, this 11,500 hectare malaria-free reserve is home to game and wildlife such as lion, elephant, leopard, rhino, hippo, giraffe, zebra, eland, wildebeest, waterbuck and a variety of antelope, as well as a myriad of bird species.
For those who want to do more than merely relax and enjoy the idyllic surroundings, there is plenty to keep you busy at Kariega Main Lodge. Everything revolves around the twice-daily safari drives - the close-up encounters with African wildlife are the centre of guests' unforgettable safari holiday. The experienced game rangers will drive you out on safari every morning and afternoon/evening in open game-drive vehicles, traversing the valleys, grassy plains and African bushveld to bring you close to the Big 5 and other game roaming freely in their natural habitat. If you are fortunate, you may witness the lion hunting or feeding, or even the heart-warming social interactions of an elephant herd.
A host of other activities are also offered, including guided bush walks amongst more than 25 species of game and abundant birdlife, fishing, bird watching, canoeing, and river cruises down the Kariega River. There is also a Wellness Centre where guests are able to enjoy massages, facials, manicures and pedicures in a lovely relaxed atmosphere. For the more energetic there is a very well equipped gym with a beautiful view over the valley.
The accommodation at Kariega Main Lodge consists of one, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom log chalets, making this the perfect destination for groups of friends and families seeking a special safari holiday of a lifetime. Each chalet is decorated in an ethnic style and are very spacious. A number of the chalets have a private pool. There are 21 chalets in total.
The family pub and restaurant, nestled in indigenous bush with commanding views of the reserve, serves tasty traditional South African cuisine, or guests can enjoy the experience of a meal in the open-air boma. To cool off during the heat of the day, dive into the river or relax at the sun-splashed main pool areas.
|Room:||1 x 1 Bedroom Log Chalet|
|Includes:||All meals; the Conservation and Community Levy; morning and evening game drives/river cruises; guided bush walks and canoeing are included.
Children under the age of 16 years are not permitted on guided walks in the reserve.
Please Note: As the animals are wild, it is not possible to guarantee what you will see during your safari.
Additional requirements and restrictions may apply for travel during the Covid-19 pandemic. Travel Butlers aim to highlight these requirements to affected clients, however the onus remains with the traveller to ensure they are aware of any requirements and restrictions that will apply to their own trip.
For up-to-date travel information from the UK government, please check:
UK Government Advice: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/south-africa
It is expected that these rules will be lifted and that the entry requirements will revert to normal as soon as the government of South Africa deems it safe to do so.
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, Uganda and Rwanda but it is up to the traveller to check the full list via http://www.who.int/ith/2015-ith-annex1.pdf?ua=1.
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 nearly 20 years of experience booking travel to Africa and the Indian Ocean for our 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 with the current Covid-19 pandemic, 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 in accommodating this.
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.