Day 1 – USA to South Africa
Today you will begin your Swain Destinations customized itinerary. Please note, international air has not been included in this package price.
Day 2 – Welcome to Cape Town, South Africa
On arrival into Cape Town, you will be met once you make your way through the air bridge. A driver will transfer you to your Cape Town accommodation.Table Bay Hotel
The Table Bay offers the ultimate in five-star luxury hotel accommodation in Cape Town. Considered to be the best address in Cape Town, this sophisticated Sun International property was opened in May 1997 by former South African president, Nelson Mandela. As part of the Sunlux Collection, The Table Bay continues to set its own standards in international service, cuisine and luxury. Situated on the historic Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, The Table Bay hotel is perfectly positioned against the stunning backdrop of Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean and provides easy access to the top places to visit in Cape Town. A property with a big heart, The Table Bay is synonymous with friendly service, environmental sustainability awareness, and a keen attention to detail. From hundreds of indigenous Protea flower arrangements throughout the hotel to personal check-in services, every detail has been taken care of to make your experience uniquely and luxuriously South Africa.Starting Accommodation:
The Table Bay Hotel
Day 3 – Cape Town City Experience
Today explore South Africa's oldest city, affectionately known as the Mother City. On this half day tour you will encounter unique cultures, architecture, historical sites and unforgettable scenery. You will be driven through the streets of the Cape Town city center, where historic and important buildings will be pointed out to you.
Highlights include, the Bo Kaap or Cape Malay Quarter which has a rich cultural, religious and architectural heritage, and is a mixed and cosmopolitan neighborhood with strong links to Muslim traditions and culture. The Cape Malays were originally shipped into the Cape Colony as skilled artisan slaves. The Bo Kaap is also home to the oldest mosque in South Africa, the Auwal Mosque, established in 1798.
Table Mountain offers spectacular views in all directions and gives a bird's eye view of the city. The upper cable car station is situated at 3,500 feet and the cable car floor rotates 360-degrees, enabling visitors to take in all of the breathtaking views. There are numerous pathways on top, viewing decks, souvenir shops, a self-service restaurant and coffee shop.
Company Gardens is the oldest in the country and was formally established in 1652 by Dutch settlers who sought to establish a victualing station to service and reprovision spice-trading sailing ships on the long sea route to the East. The Company Gardens in the middle of the CBD is also home to a beautiful rose garden, Japanese garden, fish pond and bird aviary. It is adjacent to numerous important landmarks, including the present-day Houses of Parliament, the Iziko SA Museum and Planetarium, the SA National Gallery and other historical buildings.
Castle of Good Hope, one of the oldest buildings in South Africa, it was built between 1666 and 1679 by the Dutch East India Company as a maritime replenishment station. It is a fort rather than a castle. The Castle Military Museum depicts Cape military history with one of the most impressive sword collections in the country. The William Fehr Collection of historical paintings and period furniture has a special relevance to the Cape. The Key Ceremony is performed during weekdays, followed by firing of the Signal Cannon. Horse and carriage rides are also available.
Green Market Square, one of Cape Town's oldest markets, is set on a cobbled square and still has an exciting buzz with some colorful and eccentric characters. You can pick up local art, crafts, fabrics and artifacts from almost every country on the African continent.Starting Accommodation:
The Table Bay Hotel (B)
Day 4 – Best of Cape Experience
Experience the best of what the Cape has to offer in this full-day tour combining the Cape Point and Constantia Winelands. Start off the day with a visit to the Cape Peninsula and end with a visit to the Constantia wine region in the afternoon.
Travel along the Atlantic Seaboard past the beautiful beach locations of Clifton and Camps Bay towards the Cape Point, the most Southwesterly tip of the African Continent. Within Cape Point, the treacherous cliffs forming the most southwestern tip of Africa are some of the highest in the world and mark the spot where the cold Beguela current on the West coast and the warm Agulhus current on the East coast merge. The Cape of Good Hope is one of the two world-renowned landmarks within the Table Mountain National Park, the other is Table Mountain. This part of the park is home to an array of fynbos, over 250 species of birds, bucks, baboons and Cape mountain zebras. Hop aboard the funicular and you will be whisked away on a scenic trip 238 meters above the ocean to where the old lighthouse keeps watch over the seas.
The journey continues to False Bay on of the largest and most picturesque stretches of coastline. Known for its scenic beauty, it encompasses small seaside villages along the coastline. The most popular small towns include the historical naval village of Simon's Town, Muizenberg (known for its epic waves), St. James (with its colorful huts), Kalk Bay (with great seafood restaurants) and Fish Hoek (with one of the best beaches). Boulders the African Penguin Colony in Simons Town is home to the African penguin and now has over 3,000, though the species as a whole is listed as endangered. Wooden walkways allow visitors to view the penguins in their natural habitat.
Leave the cost behind as you travel tothe Constantia Valley, Cape Town’s Vineyard. Nestled beneath Table Mountain National Park and commanding vistas of the Constantiaberg and Table Mountain ranges lies Constantia, the oldest wine-making region in the southern hemisphere. Filled with heritage and landscapes of unsurpassed beauty, Constantia offers award-winning wine estates and restaurants.Starting Accommodation:
The Table Bay Hotel (B)
Day 5 – The Blue Train to Pretoria
A driver will meet you in the hotel lobby to transfer you to Cape Town Station. Enjoy pre-departure snacks and drinks in The Blue Train Lounge prior to boarding the train.
The route between Pretoria and Cape Town is a 31-hour journey of 1,600 kilometers (994 miles), through some of the most diverse and spectacular scenery offered by the African sub-continent. The Blue Train has defined a new era of luxury travel, making the switch from steam to electric and diesel, linking veld to sea, tradition to progress, with a sense of style, grace, and mesmerizing power that has never come close to being matched. (B, L, D)
Day 6 – The Blue Train
During breakfast, enjoy the scenery from the train as the Blue Train travels through the Northern Cape region. Lunch service is split into two seating -- the first sitting is from 11:30am until 1:00pm and the second sitting is from 1:15pm until 2:30pm. After lunch the train arrives into Kimberley station at 2:30pm where you will enjoy an off-the-train excursion. Disembark and gather at the railway museum, from where you will be ushered to a bus for transfer to the Kimberley Open Mine Museum. Once at the Open Mine Museum, enjoy a tour of the mine. You are taken to view interesting and historical sites with a highlight being an enclosed ramp on the edge of the Big Hole. Return to Kimberley Station where you will be greeted with a glass of sherry. The sherry glass engraved with The Blue Train logo is a memento for guests to keep. Once back on the Blue Train, the train departs Kimberley Station for the Southbound journey to Cape Town. You have some time to get refreshed before dinner. Dinner service is split into two seating -- the first sitting is from 7:30pm until 9:00pm and the second sitting is from 9:15pm until 11:00pm. (B, L, D)
Day 7 – Welcome to Pretoria, South Africa
Upon arrival into Pretoria, a driver will meet you in the station to transfer you to your accommodation. Maslow Time Square Hotel
Discover a new generation of hotels in Pretoria. A trailblazing first for Sun International and South Africa, The Maslow Time Square features a variety of Pretoria accommodation options, all under one roof. Located in the heart of the Menlyn Maine Precinct, The Maslow Time Square is a premier hotel in Pretoria which gives you access to unrivaled entertainment, top retail outlets and the finest culinary experiences on offer. Discover fine food, excellent shopping and wellness activities in a walk-able and bustling environment that has been developed according to the principles of New Urbanism -- convenient, integrated living. The Maslow Time Square hotel provides travelers multi-level accommodation with 238 rooms and suites. Guests are invited to enjoy a range of services at Time Square at Menlyn Maine, including free WiFi, private dining, top-of-the-range facilities and technology, plus access to the Business Center.Starting Accommodation:
Maslow Time Square Hotel (B)
Day 8 – Pretoria to Madikwe Game Reserve
A driver will meet you in the lobby to transfer you to the Johannesburg O.R. Tambo Airport for your flight to Madikwe Game Reserve. Madikwe Safari Dithaba Lodge
Dithaba (meaning "mountain" in the local dialect) is a luxury lodge located in the mountains of Madikwe. The lodge offers awe-inspiring panoramas of this precious wildlife sanctuary that displays endless savanna, woodland and mountains to the horizon. The Madikwe Game Reserve is 75,000 hectares of incredible topography, vegetation and faunal diversity. From the Dwarsberg Mountains in the south, peaked by the blood-red Brandwacht; north over the undulating golden woodlands where black and white rhinos find refuge; over the Tweedepoort escarpment and into the rolling savannas - this is classic African big-sky country where plains game - zebras, springbok, wildebeests - graze, one eye always watching for lions, cheetahs or wild dogs. The west of the reserve is bounded by the perennial Marico River - a rich green vein of life in this semi-arid vastness; the eastern reaches blend into the boundless Kalahari Desert. The camp is ideal for whole families and close friends who want to experience Africa in intimate luxury. Children of all ages are welcome (if the Lodge is booked exclusively). Each of the four sumptuous suites at Dithaba boasts a lounge with a fireplace, private plunge pool and the ultimate comfort of the outdoor lounge that’s ideally positioned to take advantage of the African views extending endlessly into the distance. Included is a private butler, ranger, safari vehicle and chef. Dithaba offers delicious cuisine from the legendary Madikwe Safari Lodge menu, which can be tailored to all travelers&; tastes. The butler caters to guests and a dedicated ranger and safari vehicle allows wilderness adventures to be tailored to suit guests needs. The highly-trained rangers of Madikwe Safari Lodge will show you the riches of this wilderness wonderland on game drives in the mornings and at night. If you like, you can also choose to discover some of the smaller inhabitants - insects, birds, flowers - on foot. With your ranger, you could also piece together the story told by the tracks and signs left by Madikwe’s myriad creatures.Starting Accommodation:
Madikwe Safari Dithaba Lodge (B, L, D)
Day 9 – Activities at Madikwe Safari Dithaba Lodge
Madikwe, with its rugged terrain, bold colors and habituated wild animal species make for a Photographer's Dream. Madikwe's landscapes are many and varied, and simply breathtaking! At 75,000 hectares, this reserve is one of the largest in South Africa. This, coupled with it being in a non-malaria area, has made it a very popular destination for families. Madikwe's game viewing is of a very high standard, with regular sightings of zebra, impala, wildebeest, giraffe, warthog, white rhino, lion, wild dog, elephant, white rhino, brown hyena, and spotted hyena. Leopard sightings have become a lot more frequent as individuals are more relaxed in the presence of vehicles in the area. Along with buffalo and Black rhino, leopard are now seen regularly in the reserve. Sightings are generally limited to a maximum of three vehicles at any given time so as not to unduly stress the animals.Starting Accommodation:
Madikwe Safari Dithaba Lodge (B, L, D)
Day 10 – Activities at Madikwe Safari Dithaba Lodge
Today is at your leisure to explore all activities that the Madikwe Safari Dithaba Lodge has to offer.
Game Drives head out early morning at sunrise, and late afternoon just before sunset in search of the many animal species which call this place home. No more than eight people at a time share in a private and intensely personal safari experience in the company of their Madikwe Guide. Vehicles will stop off in a scenic spot over the course of each drive to enjoy a hot or cool beverage under a vast African sky.Starting Accommodation:
Madikwe Safari Dithaba Lodge (B, L, D)
Day 11 – Activities at Madikwe Safari Dithaba Lodge
The bush takes on a completely different perspective when you are on foot. Each of your senses will be on full alert as you feel the grass and stones beneath your feet; touch the leathery leaves of trees you walk beneath; smell the musky scent of wild animals in the vicinity; taste the sweet grass of the veld; and hear the crack of a branch indicating you are not alone. Every guest has unique interests, and the guides are adept at playing to those interests - be they mammals, birds, flora, insects or geology'. No walks for children under 16 years. Walks generally take place after breakfast and last approximately one-and-a-half to two hours, depending on the fitness level of guests. In summer, due to the heat, walks may be incorporated into the morning game drive before heading back to the lodge for breakfast.Starting Accommodation:
Madikwe Safari Dithaba Lodge (B, L, D)
Day 12 – Madikwe Game Reserve to USA
Today, you will be transferred to Johannesburg Airport for your flight to the USA. (B)