Experience the ultimate family safari through South Africa, staying at a selection of exclusive villas and enjoying adventures with dedicated private guides.
Explore the country’s vibrant cities, from the colourful townships and exciting history of Johannesburg to the magnificent scenery and golden beaches of Cape Town. Enjoy Big Five safaris at the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve and the diverse &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve. Track African wild dog at Madikwe and cheetah at &Beyond Phinda, enjoying intimate wildlife encounters in the company of professional guides.
Explore the marine wonders and glorious landscapes of the Garden Route and travel to the picturesque Cape Winelands. Indulge in wine tasting by bicycle and travel to Cape Town in the sidecar of a World War II era motorcycle. Sample the Cape’s best cuisine, canter along its beaches on horseback and take to the ocean waters on a luxury yacht.
16 DAYS / 15 NIGHTS
This itinerary has been carefully designed to give you a taste of the exciting, endless possibilities and can be tailored to suit your exact preferences.
DAY 1 & 2: JOHANNESBURG
On arrival at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg you will be warmly welcomed by a member of the &Beyond team, who will assist you through passport control and baggage claim and will drive you to AtholPlace Boutique Hotel.
After a bawdy start as a tent and shanty town, today Johannesburg is the second largest city in Africa. The city owes its existence to the discovery of gold by prospector George Harrison. Harrison, who pegged the first claim on the reef, sold it for just ₤10 and disappeared without a trace! Known as the greatest gold-mining area on earth, this vibrant city is not just an industrial giant; it is the heart of South Africa’s economy. From traditional ‘muti’ (medicine) shops to exclusive boutiques in upmarket malls, theatres, museums, cultural villages, restaurants, beautiful walks in indigenous gardens and more, Johannesburg is a diverse cultural melting pot, deserving of its name of ‘iGoli’, or ‘City of Gold’.
The outstanding AtholPlace Boutique Hotel is nestled in an upmarket garden suburb of Johannesburg. The individually-decorated suites each boast a lovely ensuite bathroom with a separate bath and shower, an inviting bed adorned with percale cotton linen and duck-down duvets, air conditioning, underfloor heating, satellite television, a personal bar and a private balcony.
Spend two nights at the AtholPlace Villa, which includes three deluxe rooms each with their own full bathroom, one ensuite junior room (perfect for children) and a superior living and dining area and accommodates a maximum of six adults and two young children. Your stay includes breakfast.
Depending on your arrival time, you may meet your host for the next two days and set off to visit Liliesleaf Farm, scene of the infamous Rivonia Raid, where you will enjoy an introductory talk on South Africa and its history.
Your host for the next two days is historian Robin Binckes, who will freely share his experiences of the apartheid era. In addition to leading historical tours, Robin is a trustee of the Khayalethu Hostel in Johannesburg’s vibrant Alexandra township and serves on the Alexandra NOAH Committee, an initiative providing support to 410 HIV/Aids orphans. He is also Chairman of the “Friends of Alexandra”, an NGO which he founded to focus on the needs of underprivileged children. Robin’s passion for South Africa and its history is contagious.
In the evening you may choose between dining at the hotel or going out for dinner. At the hotel, you have the option of enjoying your meal outside on the terrace or under the trees in the tranquil seclusion of the landscaped garden. Complimentary pre-dinner drinks and canapés are served in the library or lounge.
After breakfast the next day, Robin Binckes will meet you in the foyer and you will set off on a full-day Taste of South African History tour.
Listen to Robin’s fascinating explanation of South Africa, its people and languages.
Visit Alexandra, Johannesburg’s oldest township, where you will tour a workers’ hostel, sample local food and explore the colourful and vibrant culture of the area.
Set off on a personalised guided tour of the Apartheid Museum, with exhibits that depict events leading up to and throughout this dark period in South Africa’s history.
Explore South Africa’s modern Constitutional Court, one of the world’s most sophisticated courtrooms.
If you prefer to pair your cultural activities with some outdoor exercise, you can choose to cut your historical tour short and combine it with a cycling tour through the streets of Soweto township, getting to know the different communities and their history, seeing a side of South Africa that escapes most tourists.
Visit a former migrant workers’ hostel for men.
Travel through Meadowlands, a community infamous for the forced removals of people living in Sophiatown in the 1950s.
Stop at historical landmarks commemorating the 1976 student uprisings and the memorial site for Hector Peterson, who was tragically shot by police while protesting against apartheid laws.
Explore Vilakazi Street, where Nelson Mandela used to live (his former house is now a museum) and where Archbishop Desmond Tutu has his home.
Sample a traditional lunch (Kota township burger) and finish the tour off with some home-brewed beer at the local shebeen, where you can also dance to local kwaito rap music.
After a day filled with attractions, your host will drive you back to your hotel, where you will have a chance to freshen up before meeting up with him once again for dinner at Wombles Steakhouse Restaurant.
DAY 3 & 4: MADIKWE GAME RESERVE
After a delicious breakfast, you will be driven to Lanseria Airport, where you will board a private charter flight to Madikwe Game Reserve. The aircraft will be a PC12, which carries a maximum of eight passengers. On arrival at the airstrip, you will be met by your ranger, who will drive you to the lodge in a game drive vehicle.
A diverse combination of bushveld and semi-arid Kalahari scrub, the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve boasts the Big Five, as well as the endangered African wild dog. Madikwe is famed for Operation Phoenix, the world’s largest game translocation exercise, successfully reintroducing more than 8 000 animals of 28 species, including lion, elephant, buffalo and white rhino. It is also home to more than 350 bird species, several endemic to the Kalahari. The Madikwe region is rich in history, having seen the passage of the famed warrior Mzilikazi, as well as explorers, traders and missionaries that included Dr David Livingstone and Sir Cornwallis Harris. Renowned South African writer Herman Charles Bosman celebrates the area in many of his books.
Spend two nights at Morukuru River House. An exclusive safari villa set on the tranquil banks of the Marico River, the villa offers three double bedrooms, each featuring large tree-shaded private decks. The spacious bathrooms have deep tubs with bush views and indoor as well as outdoor showers. The separate family room can easily accommodate up to four children and features a satellite TV, Playstation, computer and DVDs. Your stay includes accommodation, private and exclusive use of the house, all meals, all drinks, water, non-alcoholic drinks, local house wines and local spirits, private butler, private chef, your own ranger and tracker, private game drive vehicle, private game drives and nature drives, private bush walks (16+ years), sundowners, picnics, transport within Madikwe Game Reserve, entrance fees / reserve gate fees, return transport between Morukuru and Madikwe airstrip, laundry service and medical emergency response and evacuation.
For the next two days, take advantage of your private vehicle and dedicated guide and tracker team to set the pace for your own adventure. Pick and choose from the following to make up an ideal day at Madikwe Game Reserve.
Set out on game drives that explore the beautiful landscape and search for the exceptional wildlife that makes it their home, including all the members of the Big Five, as well as the rare African wild dog.
Enjoy a change of perspective as you set out on bush walks that explore the intricate details of the African landscapes, from insects and plants to birds and small wildlife.
Try your hand at catch-and-release fishing in the river.
Cool off with an afternoon spent water tubing at the nearby Molatedi Dam (seasonal activity).
Indulge your taste buds in some local favourites with a cooking lesson from the villa’s personal chef.
Get a glimpse of authentic local life with a visit to the Molatedi village and school.
Imbibe the sounds and scents of the African night as you spend a night in the lodge’s secluded hide.
Learn the rhythms of Africa as you take part in a drumming session beneath open African skies (available at an additional cost).
Delight to the athletic displays and colourful traditional costumes of a group of local dancers (available at an additional cost).
DAY 5, 6 & 7: ANDBEYOND PHINDA PRIVATE GAME RESERVE
After breakfast, you will be driven back to Madikwe Airstrip where you will board a private charter flight to &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve. On arrival at the airstrip, you will be warmly welcomed by your ranger, who will drive you to your home for the next three nights, &Beyond Phinda Homestead.
Set within easy reach of the Indian Ocean coastline and the famous iSimangaliso / Greater St Lucia Wetland Park in northern KwaZulu-Natal, &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve is known for its abundant wildlife, diversity of habitats and wide range of safari activities. Thanks to its coastal rainfall pattern, the reserve enjoys a lush green environment that contains seven distinct ecosystems and is often referred to as Seven Worlds of Wonder. This fascinating variety of landscape and vegetation shelters an abundance of wildlife, including not only the Big Five but many rarer and less easily spotted species, such as the elusive cheetah and the scarce black rhino. With only a handful of lodges sharing an area of 23 000 hectares (56 800 acres) and expert rangers and trackers in search of prime wildlife sightings, guests are assured an exclusive game viewing experience. Adding to Phinda’s wildlife charms, the marine diversity of nearby Sodwana Bay on the coast is easily accessible, with scuba diving, swimming with whale sharks and even turtle watching only some of the adventures available from Phinda.
Situated in the north of the reserve, overlooking a busy pan and surrounded by dense bushveld, &Beyond Phinda Homestead is an exclusive sole-use safari villa. The lodge boasts four spacious and luxurious suites, which are distanced from each other to allow for privacy and serenity. In the heart of the home is a grand sitting area that is beautifully furnished with uniquely African artefacts, from Zulu beads and woven basket ware to wooden picture frames holding African inspired images. Guests can mingle with their private chef as he prepares their favourite meals in the interactive kitchen. With a dedicated ranger and tracker, as well as a private 4×4 safari vehicle, guests can set their own game drive times. &Beyond Phinda Homestead is the ideal place for families or friends to relax and reconnect.
Spend the next three nights at &Beyond Phinda Homestead. Your stay includes all meals, soft drinks, house wines, local brand spirits and beers, teas and coffees, scheduled safari activities, private vehicle, refreshments on game drives, nature walks accompanied by experienced armed trackers, emergency medical evacuation insurance, laundry and VAT.
Take advantage of your private vehicle and dedicated guide and tracker team to set the pace for your own adventure. Pick and choose from the following to make up the ideal two day at &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve.
Set off on game drives that explore the reserve’s diverse landscapes in search of the Big Five, as well as the elusive cheetah and the rare black rhino.
Choose to relax or join the children as they set off on fishing and tracking expeditions with your dedicated ranger or unleash their creative side by painting the game drive vehicle.
Enjoy a half-day outing to the vast sandy beaches of the nearby coastline. Soak up the sun, splash in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, play beach games, take a leisurely stroll along the coastline or snorkel in the balmy waters of a protected marine reserve.
If you are visiting between November and February, set off on a thrilling night-time adventure along the beaches of Sodwana Bay in search of the enormous leatherback and loggerhead turtles that emerge from the Indian Ocean to lay their eggs in the sand.
Delve deep into the bush on foot on a black rhino tracking adventure that teaches you how to follow rhino tracks, recognise rhino middens and scratching posts and read the signs of the bush.
Explore a nearby Zulu village and gain insight into how the local people combine the modern way of life with rural traditions.
Come face to face with a white rhino as you assist in a notching procedure that sees this majestic beast tranquilised from a helicopter, while a team of conservation workers and veterinarians mark his ears and take samples (subject to availability).
DAY 8, 9 & 10: PLETTENBERG BAY
After breakfast, you will be driven back to the airstrip, where you will board a private charter flight to Plettenberg Bay Airport. Your flight will stop at King Shaka International Airport in Durban to re-fuel. On arrival at Plettenberg Bay Airport you will be warmly welcomed and chauffeured to Kurland Villa in Plettenberg Bay.
Your host for the next four days will be private guide Tim Carr. Growing up on the diamond mines of Oranjemund in Namibia, Tim was inspired to become a wildlife guide by the animals that would roam the streets of the town at night. Graduating from the navy, he worked at &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve, first as a camp manager and river guide and eventually as a ranger. Having managed and guided at a number of game reserves throughout Africa, Tim now lives on the Garden Route and specialises in diverse interests as canoeing, astronomy, birding, wildlife, food, wine and history.
Most people believe that Cape Town was home to South Africa’s first settlers when it was, in fact, Plettenberg Bay. Originally named Bahia Formosa (Beautiful Bay) by early Portuguese navigators, the vessel Sao Gonzales was anchored here for two months in 1630 for repairs. A storm wrecked the ship and the hundred surviving crew members spent several months building two new boats and a tiny wooden chapel from the remains of the wreck. Beautiful Bay suffered a name change in 1778, when Governor Joachim van Plettenberg (clearly not a modest man) was so taken with the area that he named it after himself! Today, Plett is an upmarket resort town and, in spring, home to whales who calve in the shallow waters of the bay.
You will spend the next three nights at Kurland in a Villa. Your stay includes breakfast, private chef and a butler. The Villa is set amongst rolling meadows and tree-dotted paddocks on the outskirts of Plettenberg Bay and is situated on private property adjoining an indigenous forest. Designed in the Cape Dutch traditional, the Villa is elegantly appointed and boasts all the comforts of modern living.
That evening you will enjoy dinner at the hotel in the company of your private guide. You will have the opportunity to meet with the chef earlier in the day to discuss your preferences for the meal.
The next day, before breakfast you will head to the Tenikwa Wildlife Sanctuary, where you will enjoy the unique opportunity to watch the sun rise as you stroll through the bush in the company of a cheetah. Please note that children must be either 1.5 m (five feet) tall or 16 years old to be able to participate in this activity.
Return to the hotel for a leisurely breakfast before enjoying a day filled with exciting activities.
You will be chauffeured to Knysna, where you will board a boat to explore the Knysna Lagoon, which is bordered by two famous Heads, craggy cliffs that guard the exit to the sea. If weather conditions allow, the boat will head out through into the open sea to look for endangered humpback dolphins, as well as whales.
Indulge in a delicious lunch at the East Heads Café.
After lunch, you will be driven back to Plettenberg Bay along scenic back roads.
That evening you will enjoy dinner at Zinzis at Tsala Lodge, which offers dishes with international flavours, made using only the freshest ingredients.
On the morning of day 10, you will enjoy a variety of exceptional animal encounters near Plettenberg Bay. After breakfast, you will herd to Birds of Eden and Monkey land.
Visit Birds of Eden, the world’s largest free-flight bird aviary, which covers 23 000 m² (250 000 square feet) and is home to more than 280 bird species.
Explore Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary, where diverse species of primates are allowed free space to roam. You can view the primates in the forest home or choose to drink in the scenes from the beautiful viewing deck or suspended treetop canopy walk.
Indulge in a decadent picnic lunch at Robberg, where you can admire Stone Age artefacts, as well as enjoying magnificent views over the ocean, with whales, sharks and dolphins often spotted from the viewpoint.
Returning to Kurland, spend the remainder of the afternoon relaxing in the villa or exploring the estate on quad bikes.
That evening you will enjoy dinner at the Seafood Restaurant at The Plettenberg Hotel in the company of your private guide.
DAY 11 & 12: FRANSCHHOEK
Take advantage of your final morning in Plettenberg Bay to wake up early for a nature walk on the estate or choose to sleep in before breakfast. A vehicle will be waiting to take you to Plettenberg Bay Airport, where you will board a private charter flight to Cape Town International Airport. A member of the &Beyond team will be waiting to welcome you and help you on board a helicopter for the final leg of your flight to Franschhoek. Take off from Cape Town International Airport, soar over the famous Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and fly above the famous beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay. Enjoy magnificent views of the Twelve Apostles and enjoy aerial views of the coastline from Llandudno to Hout Bay. Fly above famous Chapman’s Peak and admire the landmarks of Noordhoek, False Bay and Cape Points before landing at Franschhoek.
This valley of Franschhoek, tightly hemmed in by mountains, was settled by a small band of French Huguenots who fled Europe in 1688 to avoid religious prosecution. Although their original skills as wine-makers have been somewhat exaggerated, they did have in their midst the de Villiers and du Toit brothers, who taught them a thing or two about viniculture. The settlers soon developed impressive vineyards and homesteads, which to this day bear their original French names. With the impressive Huguenot Memorial, museum and rose garden at its heart, the town of Franschhoek has just one main street, which is lined with antique shops, cafés and restaurants.
You will spend the next two nights in a Colonial Villa at La Cle des Montagnes. Your stay includes accommodation, a continental breakfast, a luxury evening turndown, a welcome drink on arrival, butler service and concierge service.
La Cle Des Montagnes consists of four private villas situated on a working wine estate in the heart of the beautiful Franschhoek Valleys. Uniquely themed and each boasting their own sophisticated style, the villas are scenically positioned in the middle of picturesque vineyards and plum orchards. The rich patterns and fabrics of Le Colonial Villa pay homage to a fusion of east and north African aesthetics. Patterned fabrics, Moroccan tiles and African art lend the space a tasteful vibrancy and dynamism. Le Colonial’s panoramic views of the Franschhoek vineyards and mountains combine with the contemporary African feel to create a truly memorable experience.
You will have the rest of the afternoon at leisure. Choose one of the many excellent restaurants in Franschhoek as a venue for dinner that night.
The next day you will set off on an unusual tour of the picturesque Cape Winelands.
You will be chauffeured to the beautiful town of Stellenbosch, where you will select a bicycle and helmet.
From there, set off on a leisurely cycle tour of the area, stopping at the exquisite wineries and a renowned brandy distillery.
Experience decadent and daring pairing combinations as you visit one of the smallest estates in the valley, sample local meats and cheeses while looking out at beautiful views of the vineyards, find the ideal combination of gourmet pizza and wine and try the unusual pairing of chocolate with some of the finest brandies in the world.
Return to your hotel in Franschhoek, tired but satisfied with the day’s activities.
DAY 13, 14 & 15: CAPE TOWN
This morning you will travel to Cape Town in style as you are picked up in a chauffeur-driven vintage World War II motorcycle with a sidecar. Indulge in magnificent views of the Cape Peninsula as you are driven to your hotel at Cape Town’s Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.
Check into The One Above Penthouse at the One&Only Cape Town, where you will spend your last three nights in South Africa. Your stay includes accommodation, breakfast, evening canapés, local non-alcoholic beverages, transport to Cape Town International Airport, 24-hour butler service, a private chef and Wi-Fi.
Spend the rest of the afternoon enjoying your villa, which includes two private swimming pools, a gym and a sauna, as you make the most of the magnificent views it offers.
This evening dinner will be at the Cape Colony Restaurant at the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel. You will enjoy a welcome cocktail at the stylish Planet Champagne and Cocktail Bar, a four-course dinner menu, a chef’s apron for each guest, a signed menu from the Executive Chef and tea and coffee with friandise.
A thrilling selection of family adventures is available for you to choose from over the next few days:
Explore the scenic city of Cape Town on a family adventure that begins with a ride on the revolving cable car up to the top of iconic Table Mountain. Marvel at spectacular views over the city and the entire Cape Peninsula as you stroll along its flat top or, if the weather is not favourable, explore the smaller peak known as Signal Hill.
Get kitted out with a wetsuit and snorkelling gear and spend the afternoon in the water, frolicking with Cape fur seals. Don’t forget your camera for plenty of unforgettable shots!
Head into the dunes to master the basics of sand boarding (or bum boarding for the very little ones) and then set off on an off-road quad bike adventure (younger children can travel safely on the back of a parent’s bike). The trail twists and winds through sand and bush, offering climbs, descents, technical sections and flat out straights.
Head to the Bo-Kaap, the oldest Malay settlement in South Africa, where brightly coloured houses vie for space with mosques and shops. Lunch and dinner is at the Bo-kaap Kombuis Restaurant, where spicy and fragrant dishes are savoured over spectacular views of Table Mountain and the city below.
Ride a horse along the beach, keeping an eye out for diverse bird species, lizards and even dolphins.
Explore the spectacular landscapes of the West Coast riding a powerful quad bike along designated trails.
After breakfast on day 15 you will be driven to the V&A Waterfront, where you will board a luxury yacht for a half-day cruise on the ocean waters. Cruise the beautiful Cape coastline, marvelling at rich marine life and magnificent views of the shore, with its golden beaches and soaring mountains. Be spoiled by a full crew and a dedicated stewardess serving a selection of snacks, as well as local wines and beers.
Enjoy your last night in Africa by having the chef at your villa prepare your favourite local meal or enjoy dinner at the restaurant at the One&Only.
DAY 16: DEPARTURE
After breakfast, a chauffeured luxury vehicle will take you back to Cape Town International Airport, where your adventure with us will end.
- Welcome and assistance service at all airports
- Accommodation inclusions as per the itinerary above
- All transport as mentioned
- Private waterborne and game viewing activities as mentioned
- National park entrance fees
- Administration fees – where applicable
- Emergency medical evacuation insurance
- Administration fee