South Africa & Botswana Educational Trip

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Day 1

Upon arrival in Johannesburg, after clearing customs and immigration, you will collect our luggage and proceed to the exit. An Alluring Africa representative will meet you and transfer you to Hallmark House where you will stay for one night.

Hallmark House, which was built originally in the 1970's as a diamond-polishing center, is in the heart of the Maboneng district on the east side of the Johannesburg CBD. Maboneng – which means ‘place of light’ in Sotho – is owned and developed by Propertuity. It is an exciting and vibrant new neighborhood that’s quickly becoming a destination for people who enjoy seeing the expression of current creativity and entrepreneurial spirit in all its modern urban forms: from graffiti to art centers and photo walks; from markets to yoga studios and new designer shops; the area is edgy and vital. Newmark’s boutique hotel in Hallmark House reflects this character in its style and ambiance and offers businesspeople and tourists alike the opportunity to stay in the heart of this multi-cultural city hub and explore all the area has to offer.

At 3:00 pm, after time to rest and freshen up, we will meet in the lobby for a 2-hour walking tour with PAST Experiences, Johannesburg’s Original Walking Tour Company, and leading experts in all things Joburg Inner City. The City of Jozi is their passion and they will share it with us through their exciting walking tour.

After the tour we can stop for drinks somewhere, maybe Lenin's Vodka Bar, before heading to Urbanology for an early dinner. You can check out the menu here: www.urbanologi.co.za/main-menu/. After dinner we will retire for some much needed rest after our long journey!

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Day 2

After the morning activity and breakfast, you will be transferred to the airstrip for the scheduled charter flight to Tubu Tree Camp where you will spend two nights. Arrive in time for lunch and an afternoon activity.

Located on Hunda Island, Tubu Tree Camp is built in traditional style, with elevated wooden walkways connecting eight tents on raised platforms – each with picturesque lookouts of the surrounding floodplains from a private deck. En-suite bathroom facilities and an outdoor shower are standard, while a family unit consisting of two adjoining tents and separate bathrooms share a lounge. The main dining and lounge areas and pool are raised to maximize the vistas, and an open bar area is shaded by a large marula tree.

Hunda Island is known for its concentrations of game and offers both spectacular wildlife viewing on land, and tranquil adventures on the water. This combination of activities makes Tubu a complete Delta adventure.

Game drives

Morning and afternoon game drives on Hunda Island reveal the spectacular wildlife here where leopard and other big game often feature. Our open 4×4 Land Rovers each accommodate a maximum of seven people allowing each guest a ‘window’ seat.

Night drives

Night drives with spotlights allow you to find those nocturnal animals you wouldn’t see during normal daytime drives. Porcupine, aardwolf, serval, large spotted genet and lesser bushbaby are just some of these.

Mokoro excursions

There is no better way of enjoying the crystal-clear waters of the Delta and its wildlife than by traditional mokoro (dugout canoe), which reveal the smaller fascinating critters and striking waterbirds of the region.

Boating

Water-level dependent, excursions in our boat allow for good game viewing in the channels further away from camp, often yielding fabulous sightings of hippo and crocodile and maybe even the elusive sitatunga.

Hide and Star Bed

There are two hides in the area, one of which is located about 20 minutes from camp. This hide can be transformed into a Star Bed for sleep-outs for a maximum of four people at a time. The hide is equipped with a long-drop loo.

Fishing

Fishing with a limited supply of basic equipment is on offer seasonally on a catch-and-release basis.

Birding

The Tubu area is a must for bird enthusiasts, with large concentrations of wattled crane, as well as slaty egret, rosy-throated longclaw and African skimmer. In contrast, the dryer Hunda Island sports crimson-breasted shrike and Meyer’s parrot.

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Day 3

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Day 4

After the morning activity and breakfast, you will be transferred to the airstrip for the scheduled air charter to Vumbura Plains Camp where you will spend two nights. Arrive in time for lunch and an afternoon game drive.

A retreat of contemporary and unique design, Vumbura Plains comprises two separate satellite camps, consisting of 14 rooms overall (of which two accommodate families). Each camp has its own sumptuous raised lounge, dining and bar area with magnificent vistas across the Okavango Delta, while a deck with comfortable cushions protrudes into the floodplain, either for star-gazing or as a convivial camp fire setting.

Each large, luxurious room is raised off the ground, with indoor and outdoor showers and an en-suite bathroom. A step down is the lounge area, open on three sides for that iconic view of the floodplains. Additional room features include a private plunge pool and 'sala' – a place from which to watch the passing parade of wildlife or indulge in a soothing massage.

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Day 5

For those doing the optional balloon safari this morning, departure from camp is at 4:00 am. The others will remain in camp and participate in the scheduled morning game activity. Later you will have the opportunity for an afternoon game activity.

Due to its location, Vumbura Plains offers both land- and water-based game-viewing activities, as ways of observing the range of surrounding wildlife.

Game Drives

Morning and afternoon game drives are offered in open 4×4 Land Rovers each accommodating a maximum of seven people allowing each guest a 'window' seat.

Night Drives

Night drives with spotlights allow you to find those nocturnal animals you might not see during the day.

Mokoro Excursions*

There is no better way of viewing game and exploring the Okavango than by traditional mokoro (dugout canoe). These excursions reveal the fascinating smaller creatures of the Delta including colourful frogs and lively waterbirds. *This activity is water-level dependent.

Boating*

Water-level dependent, boating is another idyllic form of water wildlife viewing. Vumbura has two boats seating six guests comfortably. *This activity is water-level dependent.

Nature Walks

On request, and depending on qualified guide availability, nature walks with skilled guides are wonderful ways of getting close to nature and observing the smaller things you miss when travelling by vehicle.

Hot Air Balloon Safaris*

Take the skies in style and soar silently over the rich ecosystem of the Okavango Delta in a hot air balloon. Gaze over scenic splendor, watch elephant playing far below and fly eye-to-eye with an eagle. This experience ends with champagne and snacks (April to September). *This activity is at extra cost.

Cultural Visits*

Visit one of the villages of the Okavango Community Trust, meet the people and learn about the local culture. *This activity is at extra cost.

Fishing

Fishing is on offer seasonally on a catch-and-release basis. A limited supply of basic equipment is available at camp.

Birding

The birding around Vumbura Plains is exceptional all year round, with migrant species present in the summer. Pel's fishing-owl is regularly seen, with other specials like wattled crane and slaty egret.

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Day 6

Those doing the optional balloon safari will head out at 4:00 am. Others will join the scheduled morning activity followed by breakfast at the camp. At a time to be advised, you will be transferred to the airstrip for the scheduled air charter to Maun, to connect with the scheduled flight to Cape Town.

Upon arrival in Cape Town, after clearing customs & immigration formalities, and collecting your luggage, you will proceed to the exit where you will be met by an Alluring Africa representative, and transferred by road to the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel where we will stay for three nights.

AMENITIES

Swimming Pool

There are two heated outdoor swimming pools, available exclusively for guests staying at the hotel: The Oasis Pool, one of the largest heated pools in South Africa, is ideal for families. Poolside service available from October to April;

The Cottage Pool is located in a secluded spot and reserved for over-16s. Poolside service available from November to March.

Fitness Centre

The fitness center is equipped with the latest cardiovascular and weight training equipment. A trainer is available for fitness assessments and programs. Professional tennis, golf and swimming coaches can be arranged on request.

Signature Boutique

Whether you're looking for a memento of your travels or the perfect present, the Signature Boutique has just what you're looking for. Traditional artisan skills combine with contemporary design to present an eclectic collection. From authentic Zulu beadwork to hand stitched embroidery, all items are locally sourced. Monday – Friday: 9am – 6pm; Saturday: 10am – 6pm; Sunday and Public Holidays: Closed

D&D Hair Design

The locally popular hair salon offers a wide range of services, from cutting and coloring to conditioning and styling. Specialized bridal service and make-up lessons are also available. Monday–Friday: 9am–5pm; Saturday: 9am–4pm; Sunday and Public Holidays: Closed.

The Nellie & Nelson Activity Center

A colourful hive of activity, this center for children aged 3 to 12 offers a range of educational games and toys, big-screen TV, blackboard wall, Nintendo Wii, beanbags and child-friendly furniture. Organized activities, from group games to storytelling, take place throughout the day. Available to non-resident hotel guests at no extra charge when visiting Librisa Spa or any of our restaurants and bars. Open daily: 10am – 6pm; Closed: 1 – 2pm for lunch.

Teens’ Lounge

The lounge is the ideal place for young adults aged 12 to 18 to meet and have fun. Contemporary furniture, Xbox 360 games, a Nintendo Wii, a computer and big-screen TV provide a great entertainment space. Available to non-resident hotel guests at no extra charge when visiting Librisa Spa or any of our restaurants and bars. Open daily: 10am – 6pm; Closed: 1 – 2pm for lunch.

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Day 7

After breakfast, you will be collected from the Belmond Mount Nelson by an Escape & Explore guide for your full day tour. Escape & Explore guides are top adventurers in their own right, and focused on creating a day that is purely for the guests enjoyment, at their own pace.

Pack a warm top, as even on a hot day things can cool down quickly. Finally, do not forget you camera, sunscreen and a good sun hat. You will do a little walking, so make sure you have comfortable shoes.

You will begin your day atop Table Mountain, ascending the 1085sqm by Cable Car and taking a short hike to Maclear’s Beacon with its 360° views of the City. From there you will follow the scenic coastal drive of Chapman’s peak which winds its way to Simon's Town – learn about Just Nuisance a Great Dane that was enlisted in the Royal Navy for helping wayward sailors make their way home and lovingly remembered and cast in bronze in the harbor. The small African market also specializes in hand made wire toys and animals.

Just down the road we will visit the African Penguins – whilst large crowds gather at the main Penguin colony we will skirt between the local only beaches meeting what have fondly become known as the 'Rogue Penguins' who like us like to escape the crowds. Options to Stand Up Paddle and Snorkel in rock pools the size of swimming pools or just enjoy the beach and Penguins.

After a picnic lunch, your our next stop is Cape Point – In the peninsula reserve itself we'll be on the hunt for the Cape 5 (Ostrich, Baboons, Mountain Zebra, Bonta Buck and Tortoise) whilst you'll visit Cape Point itself, your time in the reserve will be spent on the deserted and often sheltered beaches exploring, paddling or finding ship wrecks. On your journey back to our hotel, you will be sure to stop in at Kalk Bay Harbour, watch the resident seals, browse the bohemian shops, grab some home-made ice cream and take in all the sights and sounds that make this eclectic working harbor town so characterful.

If there is time remaining in your day, you will make our last stop at Kirstenbosh Gardens exploring the Tree Top Adventure on the way out to the Peninsula, searching for the 'The Boomslang' inspired by a snake skeleton this spectacular Tree Canopy Walkway winds and dips its way through and over the trees of the Arboretum. With tree top views of Table Mountain and out over the city a great way to end your day out in nature.

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Day 8

After breakfast, you will be collected from your hotel to embark on a Private Full Day City Tour.

You will depart from Cape Town's Victoria & Alfred Waterfront by ferry for a 25-minute trip across Table Bay to Robben Island. Led by guides, some of whom were once inmates, the tour of this World Heritage Site, and South Africa's most revered national monument, includes the Prison Block and the now infamous Limestone Quarry, where political prisoners were once forced to toil. It also comprises a drive around the island, with its breath-taking views across the bay.

We then return to the V&A waterfront for a trip along the picturesque Atlantic Seaboard and lunch at a local restaurant en route. We continue past sunny Camps Bay, over Kloof Nek to Table Mountain's Lower Cableway Station. 1 067 metres above sea level, Table Mountain affords bird's-eye views of both the city and Peninsula, as you explore its summit.

We return to the city via the old Cape Malay Quarter, for a walk through the Company Gardens, a fresh produce garden for ships and locals from the mid-17th century, and now home to the SA Museum, Houses of Parliament, National Gallery and St George's Cathedral. From there we drive to the Castle, South Africa's oldest building, with its large collection of Old Cape paintings. We'll take in the nearby Grand Parade, where Nelson Mandela addressed the nation on his release in 1990, and then move on to the District Six Museum.

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Day 9

After breakfast, you will have the morning at leisure to go shopping in Cape Town before your afternoon transfer to Franshhoek. Have your bags packed and check out of your rooms prior to that time.

Depart the city for scenic drive towards the Cape Winelands. Upon arrival, you will check into Leeu Estates where you will stay for two nights. Dinner reservations have been made in advance at Babel Restaurant.

Housed in an old cow shed, Babel is a wonderful mix of Cape Dutch architecture with contemporary glass walls that makes for a simple yet edgy environment in which to try their tasty yet often unconventional combinations. They have a farm-to-fork philosophy, which means they like to serve food that is seasonal and that reflects their "pick, clean and serve" approach.

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Day 10

After breakfast, you will be collected from Leeu Estates by a Wilderness Touring guide, for a Full day Cape Winelands Tour.

The Cape Winelands are scenically without equal amongst the wine producing regions of the world. The three major centers in this region are: Paarl, the birthplace of the Afrikaans language, Stellenbosch, the second oldest city in the country and Franschhoek, first settled by the French Huguenots in 1688 and now, undoubtedly, the culinary capital of South Africa. Your tour will take you to each of these three towns allowing you to enjoy a cellar tour and wine tasting at a leading estate, followed by a second tasting later in the day (time-permitting, perhaps even a third!). Enjoy the mix of majestic mountain ranges, fine wines, beautiful Cape Dutch architecture and sample the fine cuisine.

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Day 11

After breakfast, you will be collected from Leeu Estates and transferred to Cape Town International Airport for the flight home.