The Rainbow Tour of the Rainbow Nation" offers the magnificence of African wildlife; some of the most spectacular scenery in the world; plenty of outdoor activities such as hiking, walking and swimming; a variety of South African cultures; and one of the world’s most beautiful cities, Cape Town!
Arrive Johannesburg International Airport. Tour of city and surrounds - including the superb new Apartheid Museum. Overnight in a guesthouse in suburban Johannesburg.
Quick morning look at Pretoria - Union Buildings, Church Square, Kruger House et al. Travel east to the Mpumalanga (“place where the sun rises”) Province – via the Highveld towns of Witbank and Belfast to the edge of the Great Escarpment. Overnight at the Graskop Hotel in the village of Graskop, near the historic gold-mining village of Pilgrim's Rest. (www.graskophotel.co.za)
Travel via the Blyde River Canyon, then down the Abel Erasmus Mountain Pass into the Lowveld region of South Africa. On to the Djuma Private Game Reserve on the edge of the Kruger National Park. Check into the Bush Lodge, with its own waterhole and swimming pool. Late afternoon game drive in search of Africa's "Big Five". Return to camp for dinner and drinks around the fire under the African night sky. (www.djuma.co.za)
Djuma. Early morning game drive, followed by brunch. Then it's time to relax before an optional guided walk in the early afternoon. Evening game drive.
Depart Djuma after an early breakfast, and travel south through the citrus and sub-tropical fruit and sugar plantations of Mpumalanga. Enter Swaziland at the Jeppe’s Reef border post, and travel through via the mountainous Pigg’s Peak area, the capital Mbabane, and the Ezulwini Valley to the Mlilwane National Park and the luxurious Reilly’s Rock Lodge. Late afternoon / early evening game drive before dinner. (www.biggameparks.org)
On through Swaziland – dropping from the high-lying western region into the humid lowveld and the vast sugar estates of this area. Enter northern KwaZulu Natal at the Golela border, and on to the Pongola Game Reserve and the White Elephant Lodge overlooking the Pongolapoort Dam. Late afternoon / evening game drive before dinner at the lodge. (www.whiteelephant.co.za)
We travel further south down the Indian Ocean coast, through sugar estates, timber plantations and cattle / game ranches. Via Durban, South Africa’s third-largest city and the busiest port in Africa, to the south coast KZN resort of Ramsgate. Check into the Wailana Beach House. Late afternoon stroll on the beach and swim? (www.wailana.co.za)
On into the ex-"homeland" of Transkei to Port St. Johns, and the Umngazi River Bungalows, at the mouth of the Umngazi River. (www.umngazi.co.za)
Umngazi. Day at leisure. Stroll on the beach, hike in the surrounding hills, take a kayak trip into the mangrove forest, relax!
On into the Eastern Cape, and via the historic 1820 Settler towns of Kingwilliamstown and Grahamstown to the Hopefield Guesthouse, in the Sundays River Valley near the Addo Elephant National Park. (www.hopefield.co.za)
Addo. Day game activities – morning and afternoon game drives within the nearby Addo Park in quest of elephant, rhino, buffalo and plains game.
On via the port city of Port Elizabeth and the Tsitsikamma Mountains to the heart of South Africa's Garden Route, Plettenberg Bay. Check into the Southern Cross Beach Lodge. Afternoon on the beach!. (www.southerncrossbeach.co.za)
A short drive through to Knysna – where we take a look at The Heads, the cliffs at the mouth of the Knysna Lagoon; or go for a cruise out to the Featherbed Nature Reserve; or stroll through the arts-and-crafts shops in the town centre. Overnight at the Knysna Log Inn. (www.kli.co.za)
We travel via South Africa’s “Lake District”, George, Mossel Bay, and the historic town of Swellendam to the winelands region of the Western Cape and the quaint village of Franschhoek. La Fontaine Guesthouse. (www.lafontainefranschhoek.co.za)
After visiting a few wine estates for tastings / purchases, it’s on to the “mother city”, Cape Town. Table Mountain cable car trip on arrival in the city, and a welcome glass of champagne on top of Signal Hill. Transfer to your hotel or guesthouse
Cape Town. Tour of the Cape Peninsula, including cable car trip up Table Mountain, the Cape of Good Hope National Park, the African Penguin colony at Boulders, and the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens.
Cape Town. At leisure.
Transfer to Cape Town International Airport.