Essential Africa

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Day 1

Upon arrival in Johannesburg you will be met and assisted to the scheduled flight to Skukuza Airport, Kruger National Park. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Here you will stay at Mala Mala Main Camp for three nights. Arrive in time for lunch and an afternoon game drive.

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Day 2

There are no typical days at MalaMala – each is different based on the wild animals and their movements and no return time to camp is the same. Rangers will take full advantage of cheetah hunting or a leopard feeding in a tree and obviously the guest’s requirements are considered.

A 5:30 am wake-up call by your ranger heralds the dawn. Meet your ranger and safari companions at 6:00 am on the safari deck as the sun rises over the bushveld. Hot and cold beverages and a light snack are available. The early morning game drive follows. Game drives are conducted in open 4-wheel drive safari vehicles in the 40,000 acre private reserve. The rangers are in constant radio communication with one another to keep each other informed about the location of wildlife. Headsets are used for this purpose so as not to interrupt the sounds of the African bush. The 4-wheel drive safari vehicles enable the rangers to leave the road and provide guests with close up game viewing and fantastic photographic opportunities. Night drives, with the aid of powerful spotlights, bring the bush to life at night. Not only are you sure to see the Big Five, but you will also leave with a deep understanding of the complex ecology that envelopes this great landscape.

At approximately 9:30 am, you will return to camp where a hearty breakfast awaits you in the air-conditioned dining room or on the expansive safari deck. For the more energetic, join the bush walk after breakfast. Alternatively relax around the pool, browse through the safari boutique, work out in the small gym or perhaps take a siesta to make up for that early morning wake-up call. Feel free to explore the camp but please do not walk beyond the camp perimeters unless accompanied by a ranger. A buffet lunch is served from 1:30 pm, though some prefer to sleep through after their later breakfast.  

Once again meet at 4:00 pm for hot and cold beverages and a light snack on the expansive safari deck before departing on another unforgettable safari. A cooler box with the veritable sundowners are carried on the landrover and a consensus amongst your fellow safari-ites will determine whether the G & T is worth more than the leopard sighting! An African sunset is memorable and oft emotional sight. As darkness approaches, your ranger will scan the bush with a powerful spotlight and will point out the elusive nocturnal wildlife – a highlight of the day’s safari. As darkness settles over the bush, look out for the Milky Way – a truly spectacular sight – or try to find the Southern Cross.

Return to camp at approximately 8:00 pm, allowing time for you to freshen up before meeting your friends and rangers for pre-dinner drinks in the cozy Safari Bar. Dinner is served at 9:00 pm in the reed enclosed “boma” under an ancient Jackalberry tree. Alternatively, when the weather is suitable, a candlelit dinner is served on the safari deck overlooking the Sand River. While seated around a log fire under the starry African sky, enjoy the superb food and excellent wines – yet another highlight of the Mala Mala experience.

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Day 3

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Day 4

After breakfast you will be transferred by road to Kruger-Mpumalanga Airport for your scheduled flight to Livingstone, Zambia. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred across the border into Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, clearing customs & immigration formalities en route. Here you will stay at The Victoria Falls Hotel for three nights. After settling in, enjoy a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River, aboard the Ra Ikane Cruise Boat, including snacks, local brand drinks, high tea & river usage fee.

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Day 5

On a guided tour of the falls explore the rainforests of the Victoria Falls with its abundance of birdlife, learn about the geographical formation of the Falls, and amble along the scenic pathway, stopping at spectacular vantage points along the way. The Victoria Falls is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. David Livingstone was the first European to visit the Falls, and named it after Queen Victoria. To the locals, it is known as “Mosi-oa-Tunya” – The Smoke that Thunders – an accurate description of what happens when the waters of the Zambezi River plunge over the 1700 metre wide and 100-metre deep chasm, creating a shower of spray and a deafening noise.

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Day 6

The day is at leisure for optional activities available for an additional charge, such as helicopter flight over the Falls, canoeing, jetboating, bungee and more.

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Day 7

After breakfast you will be transferred to the Victoria Falls Airport for the scheduled flight to Johannesburg, with connection to Cape Town. Upon arrival in Cape Town you will be met and transferred to the Radisson Blu Hotel where you will stay for three nights.

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Day 8

This morning you will be collected from your hotel for a Private Full Day Peninsula Tour. We make our way along the Atlantic seaboard passing Sea Point, Bantry Bay and Clifton. Bakoven and Llandudno, with their ghostly shipwrecks, are also fantastic sights on the way to the fishing village of Hout Bay, where we board a boat to view the Cape Fur Seal colony on Duiker Island (weather permitting).

From here we navigate the 114 curves of 600m high Chapman's Peak Drive. We then explore the Cape of Good Hope section of the Table Mountain National Park, home to fabulous birds and very special fauna, such as Cape mountain zebra, bontebok and the charismatic Cape baboon. Climb (or ride the world's first environmentally friendly funicular) to the famous Cape Point Lighthouse to capture the magical vistas of False Bay.

After lunch, we visit Boulders Beach to see the penguins, and then head home through the naval village of Simonstown and over scenic Boyes Drive, taking in the views of the fishing harbor at Kalk Bay and the seaside havens of St James and Muizenberg. To round off your day you can take a stroll through Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens on the slopes of Table Mountain.

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Day 9

This morning you will be collected from your hotel for a Private Full Day Winelands Tour. Depart the city for the Winelands in the nearby Boland Mountains for a leisurely exploration of historic towns, liquid delights, gastronomic wonders and home-grown hospitality. Wine estates visited will vary according to client preferences, but the tour generally includes the region's major wine producing areas of Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek, and there are chances aplenty en route for tastings of world-renowned reds and whites, as well as Cap Classiques – South Africa's answer to "Champagne". Lunch at one of the many classic, award-winning restaurants in the area.

Natural and historic heritage abounds in this area and your tour may take in sights like the Afrikaans Language Monument with its panoramic Boland views. Idyllic Franschhoek, nestled in a valley settled by French Huguenots in 1688, is a delight for both antique lovers and gastronomes alike. Stellenbosch, South Africa's second-oldest town, provides another glimpse of classic 17th-century Cape style, with a chance to browse quaint Dorp Street and the many museums, galleries and shops of this lovely university town.

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Day 10

Transfer to the airport for your departure flight.