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SAFARI-GIRL

AFRICAN SAFARIS

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The Mount Nelson, South AfricaRoyal Malewane, South AfricaRovos Rail, South AfricaRoyal Malewane, South Africa

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South Africa - A world in One Country

11 Days in South Africa

Commences with arrival at Johannesburg on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays

Featuring Rovos Rail, the Mount Nelson Hotel Cape Town, Sir Richard Branson’s Ulusabu Game Lodge in Sabi Sand Private Reserve and three nights at the Royal Malewane in Thornybush Reserve.

From Rovos Rail, the most luxurious train in the world, to the exquisite beauty of the Royal Malewane, South Africa is the quintessential African experience. This journey through South Africa embodies the very essence of exclusive luxury.

For many visitors to South Africa, there is no finer way to see the country than on the popular journey on Rovos Rail between Pretoria and Cape Town. This 1600 kilometre journey is a perfect illustration of South Africa as a “world in one country.” Travel the grasslands of the gold rich Highveld to the haunting barrenness of the Great Karoo. Trundle through the spectacular mountain ranges and scenic winelands of the Cape. Journey’s end is Cape Town, the “Mother City of South Africa”, cradled by the imposing bulk of Table Mountain, Devil’s Peak, and Lions Head. Highlights of the north and southbound routes include a visit to the historic village of Matjiesfontein. This authentic perfectly preserved Victorian Village, which began as a refreshment stop in 1890, also boasts an impressive museum on the platform. A stop is also made in Kimberley providing an opportunity to enjoy a city tour.

Owned by Sir Richard Branson, Ulusaba Safari Lodge is set in the heart of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve that borders the sprawling Kruger National Park in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province. Nestled in the heart of the riverine bush under a canopy of trees, Ulusaba Safari Lodge is a romantic tree-house lodge that is located in unspoiled game-rich bush. Experienced trackers and game rangers will accompany you on game drives in open land rovers, tracking the Big Five and sharing with you their vast knowledge of the surrounding wildlife.

End this incredible itinerary with a royal stay at the Royal Malewane. Located on the western fringe of Kruger National Park in the heart of South Africa’s “Big Five” territory, Royal Malewane is for those who would like to experience wildest Africa in age-old colonial splendor. This safari lodge, set deep in the African bush, is for the adventurous traveler who would like to experience true Africa.

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Personally escorted by Denise Bonnell

ITINERARY

Day 1                                       Pretoria

Arrive at Johannesburg where you will be transferred to the Illyria House in Pretoria, South Africa, for your overnight stay.

Pretoria is located in the northern part of Gauteng Province, South Africa.  It is one of the country’s three capital cities, serving as the executive and de facto national capital; the others are Cape Town, the legislative capital, and Bloemfontein, the judicial capital.

Secluded yet centrally located, a stay at Illyria House is ideal in combination with a luxury rail journey or a wildlife safari and holds the promise of an unforgettable authentic experience in colonial African hospitality.  With sweeping views of the historical Jacaranda City, this magnificent villa is a unique, nostalgic secret retreat of royalty and heads of state.

Illyria House was originally built in 1940 by a physician, Dr. Ockert Vermeulen, who owned diamond mines.  His wife, Adelaide, often sat in the hall sorting diamonds as a hobby.  Their daughter became famous after painting President Nelson Mandela who was a guest at Illyria House in later years.

ILLYRIA HOUSE

Illyria House, South Africa

Illyria House, South Africa

Illyria House, South Africa

Illyria House, South Africa

Illyria House, South Africa

Illyria House, South Africa

Illyria House, South Africa

Illyria House, South Africa

Day 2

Pretoria/Kimberly

Rovos Rail, South Africa

Rovos Rail, South Africa

Rovos Rail, South Africa

Rovos Rail, South Africa

Rovos Rail, South Africa

Rovos Rail, South Africa

Following a leisurely breakfast at this delightful Palladian guest house, check out and tour Pretoria with a stop for lunch on your own before arrival at the private Railroad station of Rovos Rail at Capital Park.  Embarkation at 3:00 pm is preceded by a champagne reception before you are escorted to your Pullman suite with double bed, shower, and toilet, or a suite with upper and lower beds.  Upgrades to Deluxe and Royal Suites – the latter taking up half an entire carriage - are available as a supplement.

 Many world travelers have given the “Pride of Africa” the accolade of the “World’s most luxurious Train.”  During the 960 mile journey reminiscent of colonial Africa, the train, pulled by Steam and Diesel electric engines on different parts of the journey, makes stops at Kimberley and Matjiesfontein.  All meals are included along with alcoholic beverages, thus there are no “extras.”  A gourmet dinner is followed by the overnight journey to Kimberley.

ROVOS RAIL – THE “PRIDE OF AFRICA”               (B,D)

Rovos Rail, South Africa

                        Rovos Rail, South Africa

 Rovos Rail, South Africa
                        Rovos Rail, South Africa

Day 3                                                         Kimberley/De Aar/Beaufort West/Matjiesfontein

On arrival at Kimberley disembark the train and tour this historic town.  Visit the Big Hole – the world’s largest man made excavation.  Visit the Diamond Museum and view the historic Kimberley Club before reembarking on the “Pride of Africa” about 12:30 in time for lunch.  Spend the rest of the day traveling through the Great Karoo via De Aar and Beaufort West, continuing overnight to Matjiesfontein.          

Kimberley is the capital of the Northern Cape.  It has considerable historical significance due to its diamond mining past and siege during the Second Boer War.  Notable personalities such as Cecil Rhodes, made their fortune here, and the roots of the De Beers Corporation can also be traced to the early days of this mining town.                   

ROVOS RAIL – THE “PRIDE OF AFRICA”           (B,L,D)

Rovos Rail, South Africa

Rovos Rail, South Africa

Rovos Rail, South Africa

Rovos Rail, South Africa

Rovos Rail, South Africa

Rovos Rail, South Africa

Rovos Rail, South Africa

Rovos Rail, South Africa

Rovos Rail, South Africa

Rovos Rail, South Africa

Day 4

Matjiesfontein/Worcester/Cape Town

The Mount Nelson, South Africa

The Mount Nelson, South Africa

The Mount Nelson, South Africa

The Mount Nelson, South Africa

The Mount Nelson, South Africa

The Mount Nelson, South Africa

Arrive at the historic village of Matjiesfontein in the early morning which was created as a stop on the Great Trek when the Dutch settlers left Cape Town to the British and moved north to Johannesburg.  An outpost of the British Empire and a little piece of Scotland can be found on the plains of the Great Karoo.  This is Matjiesfontein which started as a tiny Victorian village with a history richly spiced with tales of murder, mayhem and magic.  This is all woven into a rich tapestry of gallantry, ghosts, fact and fiction.  The Matjiesfontein saga brings the early Karoo, the Anglo-Boer War and life in Queen Victoria’s England vividly to life.   

Depart at about 10:30 on the most scenic part of the trip through the mountains and across the Cape Flats to Cape Town arriving about 6:00 pm.  You will be met and transferred to the elegant Grand Dame of hotels – the Mount Nelson, the perfect addition to your train journey.

MOUNT NELSON HOTEL                                             (B,L)

The Mount Nelson, South Africa

The Mount Nelson, South Africa

Day 5

Cape Town

After breakfast we embark on a full day tour of the Cape Peninsula including Table Mountain.  Views encompass all of Cape Town and all the way to Cape Point where you will eventually ride to the Peak, see the lighthouse, False Bay and the Cape of Good Hope.  The scenic drive covers both sides of the peninsula.

Cape Town is Southern Africa’s most beautiful, most romantic, and most visited city.  It is set along the mountainous Cape Peninsula spine, which slides into the Atlantic Ocean.  By far the most striking – and famous – of its sights is Table Mountain.  Since the first person laid eyes on Table Mountain, it has exerted its powerful and charismatic pull, enchanting and drawing any and all who fall under its spell.

Set on a lush garden estate, the Mount Nelson Hotel occupies a late 19th century colonial style property with late Victorian buildings.  This luxury hotel is situated in the heart of Cape Town’s vibrant cultural center and is close to the bustling V&A Waterfront and Table Mountain.

THE MOUNT NELSON HOTEL                                   (B,L)

The Mount Nelson, South Africa

The Mount Nelson, South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa

The Mount Nelson, South Africa

The Mount Nelson, South Africa

Day 6                                                      Cape Town/UluSabu at Sabi Sand Game Reserve

Ulusaba Safari Lodge, South Africa

Ulusaba Safari Lodge, South Africa

Ulusaba Safari Lodge, South Africa

Ulusaba Safari Lodge, South Africa

Ulusaba Safari Lodge, South Africa

Ulusaba Safari Lodge, South Africa

Ulusaba Safari Lodge, South Africa

Ulusaba Safari Lodge, South Africa

Ulusaba Safari Lodge, South Africa

Ulusaba Safari Lodge, South Africa

This morning fly to Mpumalanga airport and connect with the light aircraft shuttle directly to the airstrip at Ulusabu.  The owner, Sir Richard Branson, has created a deluxe safari lodge in the heart of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve on the border of the Kruger National Park in South Africa.  Sir Richard insisted that nearly all of the staff be recruited locally so that the employees and their families might enjoy the benefits of tourism.  This policy paid big dividends.  Entrusted with the service and care of the tourists, they responded with the most cheerful disposition and clearly enjoy their work.  Speak a word or two in Bantu and they are delighted.  The game drives are in open vehicles and you should see elephant, giraffe, lion, hippo, springbok, zebra and many more species on your afternoon game drive.  A wide variety of birdlife can also be seen.  

The Ulusaba family of 119 individuals includes some of the finest and most qualified rangers and trackers in the reserve who guarantee the experience of a lifetime on game drives.  Ulusaba delights in going the extra mile for all of its guests!

ULUSABA SAFARI LODGE                                      (B,L,D)

Day 7

 Sabi Sand Game Reserve

Activities include morning and afternoon game drives; specially planned breakfasts or lunches in the bush; visits to local villages; and Sundowners at Sunset. 

ULUSABA SAFARI LODGE                                    (B,L,D)

Ulusaba Safari Lodge, South Africa

Ulusaba Safari Lodge, South Africa

Ulusaba Safari Lodge, South Africa

Ulusaba Safari Lodge, South Africa

Ulusaba Safari Lodge, South Africa

Ulusaba Safari Lodge, South Africa

Ulusaba Safari Lodge, South Africa

Ulusaba Safari Lodge, South Africa

Ulusaba Safari Lodge, South Africa

Ulusaba Safari Lodge, South Africa

Days 8                                                        Sabi Sand/Thornybush Private Game Reserve

Royal Malewane, South Africa

Royal Malewane, South Africa

Royal Malewane, South Africa

Royal Malewane, South Africa

Royal Malewane, South Africa

Royal Malewane, South Africa

Royal Malewane, South Africa

Royal Malewane, South Africa

Royal Malewane, South Africa

Royal Malewane, South Africa

Leave after breakfast by road, driving out of the reserve and traveling up north to Thornybush Private Game Reserve and the Royal Malewane – often called the “jewel of all safari lodges.”  On the way you will have the opportunity to drive through villages which will provide a glimpse of how the locals live. 

 Royal Malewane’s freestanding and private suites rests in harmony with its magnificent surroundings with a rich deck wood terrace, thatched gazebo and spillway pool finding easy residence in nature.  The colonial style of the lodge is especially visible inside the suites, which feature antique furniture and canopied beds as well as extravagant bathrooms.  There are only six suites plus the Malewane and Royal suites.  We will use the deluxe suites, each with its own horizon plunge pool and long balcony.  Elephants have been known to drink at some of the plunge pools so they are not always private!  Elevated walkways link the suites to the main camp with the African sky as your ceiling.

The main camp complex is the heart of Royal Malewane.  African thatched roof buildings house the library, shop, dining and receptions areas.  Furnished with rich antiques and Persian carpets, every fitting creates the feel of original colonial elegance.   After lunch meet your driver/guide and tracker before setting off on your afternoon game drive.  With luck you may encounter rhino among many other mammals and birds.

ROYAL MALEWANE                                                  (B,L,D)

Days 9 & 10

Thornybush Private Reserve

Two full days of game viewing and in between the opportunity to relax in your suite or enjoy the Spa.  Game viewing at Royal Malewane provides guests with the best opportunities for seeing the natural abundance of big game in the Reserve, which is home to the “Big Five” – lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino.  Over 250 recorded bird species are also found in the Reserve.  Game viewing is tailored to guests’ individual needs, either by open Land Rover or on foot.  Their expert ranger and master tracker accompany the guests.  The order of the day is usually an early morning game drive followed by a leisurely breakfast.  Thereafter, guests can enjoy the luxury of the camp before lunch.  An afternoon game drive and sundowners follow the sumptuous high tea, culminating in a night drive in search of nocturnal game.  Dinner is served under the African sky or with silver and crystal in the dining areas.

ROYAL MALEWANE                                                   (B,L,D)

Royal Malewane, South Africa

Royal Malewane, South Africa

Royal Malewane, South Africa

Royal Malewane, South Africa

Royal Malewane, South Africa

Royal Malewane, South Africa

Royal Malewane, South Africa

Royal Malewane, South Africa

Royal Malewane, South Africa

Royal Malewane, South Africa

Day 11

Thornybush/Hoedspruit/Johannesburg

Depart and transfer to Hoedspruit Airport after a game drive and breakfast to connect with the flight to Johannesburg arriving in the afternoon, OR extend your trip with a visit to VICTORIA FALLS. 

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The estimated cost of this itinerary is NET $12,800 per person.

This is based on tariffs and exchange rates as of November 5th 2009 and is subject to change in peak periods. In such circumstances, the right is reserved to adjust costs accordingly. This itinerary can be adjusted to individual requirements as long as the train schedule is matched (if included) to a tailor-made program.

Cost Includes:

  • Hotel/lodge/deluxe train accommodations with private facilities, as listed in the itinerary, based on two persons sharing double or twin.

  • Table d’hote meals as listed in the itinerary, B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner.

  • Meeting and private transfer services throughout the itinerary

  • Light aircraft air transfer from Kruger Mpumalanga Airport to Ulusaba private airstrip

  • Private sightseeing arrangements in Pretoria and Cape Town as detailed in the itinerary

  • Private road transfer from Ulusaba to Royal Malewane

  • Hotel service charges and taxes, where applicable

  • All local alcoholic beverages on Rovos Rail and at Ulusaba and Royal Malewane
     

Cost Does Not Include:

  • Anything not proscribed in “Cost Includes” above

  • International air transportation; domestic flights within South Africa – Cape Town to Kruger International Airport and Hoedspruit to Johannesburg

  • Laundry, alcoholic beverages except where noted in “Cost Includes”

  • Communications charges and other items of personal nature such as gratuities to hotel/lodge and train staff, drivers, guides and trackers.

Price is based on tariffs and exchange rates and is subject to change.

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