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Cape Town to Kruger: Luxury South African Rail Journey
11 days from CAD15,470pp
Discover Cape Town’s history and culture on a private walking tour and Robben Island visit.
See African penguins and stroll through the Kirstenbosch Gardens on a Cape Peninsula tour.
Spend a day wine tasting in the Cape Winelands.
Journey across South Africa aboard the Rovos Rail, visiting lesser-known areas of the country.
End with a Big Five safari in the Sabi Sands Wildtuin private reserve, bordering the Kruger.
- Cape Town
- Sabi Sand Wildtuin
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Day 1 Cape Town
On arrival in Cape Town, you’re met by one of our representatives, who guides you through customs. You’re then driven in a private vehicle to your accommodation. Soon after, you set off on a half-day tour of the city, finding out more about its history and cultures. You can take the rotating cable car to the top of Table Mountain, visit the vibrant Bo-Kaap district, home to the city’s Cape Malay community, and stop at South Africa’s oldest building, the Castle of Good Hope, built in 1679. Return to your hotel for dinner, or choose from the city’s wide range of restaurants.
Day 2 Cape Town
This morning, a local guide meets you in the heart of Cape Town for a private walking tour of the city, focusing on Cape Town’s history and life during the apartheid. Your guide also shows you notable historical buildings and areas of Cape Town that date back to Dutch and British colonial times. In the afternoon, take the ferry to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent the majority of his imprisonment. A former inmate leads you on a tour of the prison and tells you more about South Africa’s turbulent political history, as well as what it was like to serve a sentence here.
Day 3 Cape Town
Spend today exploring the Cape Peninsula. A private guide collects you early in the morning and you head off on the spectacular drive through Chapman’s Peak and down to Cape Point, stopping to enjoy the pristine beaches along the peninsula. On the way back, you'll stop at Boulder’s Beach, where you can watch the resident colony of African penguins. You’ll also pause for a stroll through Kirstenbosch Gardens, one of the largest botanical gardens in Africa, where you can see endemic fynbos vegetation.
Day 4 Cape Town
Your private driver-guide collects you from your hotel this morning ready for a day spent exploring the Cape Winelands, just outside Cape Town. You’re driven through vine-woven hills and valleys, passing numerous farms and vineyards which offer wine tastings (often paired with fresh food from the area). You’ll stop at Waterford for a tour and to taste some of the estate’s wines, expertly paired with chocolates. You can also explore the towns of Franschhoek, Paarl and Stellenbosch, which are rooted in Dutch-colonial history and known for their gourmet restaurants. Return to your hotel in Cape Town for your final evening in the city.
Day 5 On-board train (Cape Town)
You’re driven to the train station this morning to board the Rovos Rail. Seat yourself in one of the train’s wood-panelled coaches as you depart Cape Town and head through the Winelands to the historical railway village of Matjiesfontein in the Central Karoo. You can leave the train for a tour of this National Heritage Site, which was once a fashionable Victorian health retreat and has retained many of its 19th-century buildings, including the old courthouse. You then continue your journey across the country, sitting down at the sound of a gong to a formal dinner accompanied by South African wines in the Victorian-style dining car.
Day 6 On-board train (Cape Town)
After journeying through the arid Great Karoo and Klein Karoo regions, you arrive in Kimberley, where you have two and a half hours to explore. From the station, you’ll take an electric tram into the heart of the city. You can then visit the open-air Kimberley Diamond Museum for an overview of the area’s diamond-mining history and to see some of the treasures excavated here, as well as taking a tour of a recreated mine shaft. You can also visit the Big Hole, the site of the diamond excavations. You then re-board the train to continue your journey eastwards, enjoying another sumptuous dinner in the evening.
Day 7 Johannesburg
You arrive into Pretoria at around midday. Your driver meets you at the station and takes you to your hotel in Johannesburg. You then have the rest of the day to relax or explore the city. You could take a stroll though the regenerated Maboneng Precinct, where you’ll find a variety of art galleries, restaurants, cafes and bars housed in former warehouses, many of which are emblazoned with street art and murals. Or, uncover more about the city’s turbulent past at the Apartheid Museum, which details the impacts of the regime on South Africa’s black population as well as the life and achievements of Mandela.
Day 8 Sabi Sand Wildtuin
You’re collected from your hotel this morning and driven to Johannesburg’s airport for your one-hour flight to the Sabi Sand Wildtuin, a private reserve bordering Kruger National Park. After landing at the airstrip, you’re met by a ranger, who then drives you to your lodge. You have time this afternoon for your first game drive, taking in the reserve’s wildlife and looking out for the Big Five. Your guide will know the best spots to find the wildlife that most interests you and can help identify animals big and small. Stop for sundowners in the bush before returning to camp in time for a hearty dinner shared around the table.
Day 9 Sabi Sand Wildtuin
Rise early for a light breakfast before embarking on your first morning safari. Animals are most active at this time, before the day heats up, and you might see predators returning from their night-time hunts. You return to your lodge for a generous brunch, then have time to relax during the hottest part of the day. In the late afternoon, you set off on another game drive, looking for wildlife you’ve yet to encounter. You return to the lodge in darkness, which gives you a chance to look for nocturnal species such as African wildcats, porcupines and owls.
Day 10 Sabi Sand Wildtuin
Enjoy another full day on safari today. As a change from game drives, you might like to head out on foot this morning, joining an experienced guide on an informative bush walk. Exploring outside of a vehicle gives you a different, more authentic perspective of the reserve, and you’ll discover more about its flora and fauna. Listen to the sounds of bird calls, look for animal tracks and find out the different uses of various plants. After your siesta, head out on your final game drive, then enjoy your final night under the African sky, swapping stories with fellow guests.
Day 11 Return home
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