South Africa – Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Madikwe Game Reserve

Tour Itinerary


Day 1

Depart Ottawa by bus to Montreal to catch your flights to Cape Town. Times are subject to change.

Day 2

A warm welcome to Cape Town, South Africa!

We will be transferred directly to our hotel on arrival.

Overnight: Cape Cadogan Standard or Luxury Room: https://www.capecadogan.co.za/

Situated in the heart of the ”Capetonian’s” Cape Town, away from tourist congestion. There are a wide variety of boutiques, restaurants and bars in the neighbourhood. The hotel is in close proximity to Table Mountain (10 minutes), Clifton Beach (15 minutes) and the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront (10 minutes).  Free daily scheduled Waterfront transfers.

Day 3

Full day Table Mountain and City Tour – Cape Town

Today you will proceed to Table Mountain (weather permitting).

Often described as magical and mystical, Table Mountain is Cape Town’s most prominent feature and a world-famous landmark. This majestic mountain is visible from almost everywhere in Cape Town and is often used as a beacon by which to find direction. The mountain is sculpted from sandstone and rises 1086 metres at its highest point, Maclears Beacon, above the bay. Its flat summit measures nearly 3km and provides breathtaking views over the city and its beaches. The panorama stretches from Table Bay to False Bay and around the mountain to the Hout Bay Valley and Kommetjie. On a clear day one has a magnificent view across the Cape Flats to the Hottentots Holland Mountains.

Afterwards, travel to the Company Gardens and view the oldest museum in sub-Saharan Africa. The South African Museum (SAM) has been adding to their collections for nearly 200 years and was established in 1825.  Collections here range from fossils to insects and fish found as recently as a week ago; there are Stone Age tools, over 120 000 years old, side by side with displays of traditional clothes from the last century.

Continue to the Castle of Good Hope.  The Castle of Good Hope is the oldest surviving building in South Africa. Built between 1666 and 1679, this pentagonal fortification replaced a small clay and timber fort built by Commander Jan van Riebeeck in 1652 upon establishing a maritime replenishment station at the Cape of Good Hope for the Dutch East India Company, better known as the VOC (Verenigde Oos-Indische Compagnie). Included lunch will be at a local restaurant.

Overnight: Cape Cadogan Standard or Luxury Room (B, L)

Day 4

Full day Cape Point tour – Cape Town

This is an awe-inspiring tour to the towering headland known as Cape Point. Magnificent beaches, breathtaking views, and picturesque coastal villages are to be seen along the way.

Today you will view the exclusive suburbs of Sea Point, Clifton and Camps Bay before continuing via Llandudno to the fishing harbour of Hout Bay. If calm seas prevail, join a launch cruise to view the Duiker Island seals and cormorants at close quarters (Time and weather permitting – $ Own Account).

Then we’ll travel along the spectacular Chapman’s Peak Drive to Kommetjie and enter the Cape Point Nature Reserve where you will be taken to the best vantage point to view what is erroneously said to be the meeting place of two mighty oceans.

After your lunch stop ($ Own account), we will follow the coastline along False Bay. We’ll return to Cape Town by way of Simon’s Town, where we visit the penguin colony at Boulders Beach (for own account), Fish Hoek fishing village and Muizenberg. Before our return, we’ll stop at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens for a short walking tour of the beautiful gardens. We return to Cape Town, passing the University of Cape Town, Rhodes Memorial and the Groote Schuur Hospital.

Overnight: Cape Cadogan Standard or Luxury Room (B)

Day 5

Full day Winelands – Cape Town

We will start our day by visiting Stellenbosch.  It is easy to understand why Simon van der Stel decided to settle a village amongst the mountains. The backdrop of the Hottentots Holland Mountains, the white gabled Cape Dutch homesteads and the oak lined streets and lanes all blend in to give this place a charm that will not be forgotten.

Proceed to Paarl where you will visit Anura at 10:00 for a cheese and wine tasting.

Finally, we make our way to Franschhoek with a photo stop at the Groot Drakenstein Prison where Nelson Mandela was released in Feb 1990. The village of Franschhoek nestled amongst the mountains, can easily be mistaken as being in Switzerland. After a short tour of the little town, there will be time for another wine tasting.

Overnight: Cape Cadogan Standard or Luxury Room (B)

Day 6

Free day in Cape Town

Today is a relaxing day, you might want to visit the V & A Waterfront with all its great restaurants and shops. There will be an optional visit to a beach today. If you’re interested your Travac Tours Director will advise you of the details.

Overnight: Cape Cadogan Standard or Luxury Room (B)

Day 7

Cape Town to Johannesburg

After breakfast we will depart the hotel to the airport. Our flight today will take us to Johannesburg, flight time is approximately 2 ½ hours. Once we arrive we will be transferred to our hotel for the day.

The rest of the day will be at leisure in Melrose. Experience a passionate sense of style and service at the Melrose Arch Hotel. Situated in the new Melrose Arch development in Northern Johannesburg, the Melrose Arch Hotel offers easy access from the airport to the best that Johannesburg has to offer, day or night. The world-renowned March Restaurant, legendary swimming pool, inviting library and modern, comfortably appointed rooms conspire to make your visit to the Melrose Arch Hotel unique and unforgettable.

Feel the pulse of urban Africa, set the course for your business, or just lay back in designer luxury – the choice is yours at The Melrose Arch Hotel where service excellence, absolute luxury and superb facilities are the order of the day.

Overnight: Melrose Arch Hotel (B) http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/jnbml-african-pride-melrose-arch-hotel/

Day 8

Full day Soweto and Apartheid Museum – Johannesburg neighbourhoods

You will be collected from your hotel after an early breakfast for your full day tour of the Soweto and Apartheid Museum.

Soweto is a sprawling township, or more accurately, a cluster of townships on the south-western flank of Johannesburg. Soweto was created in the 1930s, with Orlando the first township established. In the 1950s, more black people were relocated there from ‘black spots’ in the inner city – black neighbourhoods which the apartheid government had reserved for whites. With a population of over 2 million, the township is the biggest black urban settlement in Africa with a rich political history. Soweto was the centre of political campaigns aimed at the overthrow of the apartheid state. The 1976 student uprising started in Soweto and spread to the rest of the country. Many of the sights on this route therefore have political significance. From the footbridge of the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, the largest on the continent, one can get a panoramic view of Soweto.

Visit the Hector Pieterson Museum in Orlando West, Soweto, built in memory of the people who died that day, 16 June 1976. Nelson Mandela’s humble little house in Orlando West, Soweto, now called the Mandela Family Museum, is an interesting stopover for those keen to imbibe a slice of authentic history on the world’s most famous former prisoner. The museum, a house comprising four inter-leading rooms, contains a rather eclectic assortment of memorabilia, paintings and photographs of the Mandela family as well as a collection of doctorates bestowed on Nelson Mandela from universities and institutions around the world. You can also have a glimpse of the mansion belonging to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in an affluent part of Orlando West. Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s house and the Sisulu residences are in the same neighbourhood. The Apartheid Museum tells the story of the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. Whoever you are, you cannot but come away with a deeper understanding and appreciation of this country, its darkest days and its brightest triumphs. The Apartheid Museum, the first of its kind, illustrates the rise and fall of apartheid. The racially prejudiced system that blighted much of its progress and the triumph of reason which crowned half a century of struggle. The Museum has been assembled and organized by a multi-disciplinary team of curators, film-makers, historians and designers. An architectural consortium comprising several leading architectural firms, conceptualized the design of the museum on a seven-hectare site. The museum is a superb example of design, space and landscape offering the international community a unique South African experience.

Overnight: Melrose Arch Hotel Superior Pool Facing Rooms (B)

Day 9

Johannesburg to Madikwe – Madikwe Game Reserve

This morning you are transferred to Madikwe Safari Lodge. (Approximately 4,5 Hours)

Madikwe Game Reserve, in the North West province, is one of South Africa’s largest Big Five game reserves and features a variety of lodges and camps, ranging from comfortable to luxurious. Set in a malaria-free area in the historic North West province, near the border with Botswana, the 76 000-hectare (187 800 acre) Madikwe Game Reserve supports a diverse combination of bushveld and the semi-arid Kalahari.

Madikwe is famed for Operation Phoenix, the world’s largest game translocation exercise. Established almost 20 years ago, the reserve successfully reintroduced more than 8 000 animals of 28 species, including lion, elephant and buffalo, as well as black and white rhino. This area is now home to the famous Big Five, as well as the endangered African wild dog and 350 bird species. Tonight, will embark on our first game drive!

Overnight 4 nights: Madikwe – Lelapa Lodge -ALL INCLUSIVE (Including: all meals, tea, coffee and mini bar in room, selected beverages alcoholic and non-alcoholic, two daily game drives (time and weather permitting). And a few surprises along the way! http://www.madikwesafarilodge.co.za/our-lodges/madikwe-lelapa-lodge/

Day 10-12

Madikwe Game Reserve Here is an example of the daily events at Madikwe (times are approximate and subject to change)

  • 05h00   Wake-up call
  • 05h30   Tea/Coffee and game drive departs
  • 09h00   Game drive returns, breakfast/brunch is served
  • At leisure          Bush walk or activities of personal preference
  • 16h00   High tea
  • 16h30   Game drive departs
  • 19h30   Game drive returns and dinner follows

Day 13

Madikwe to Johannesburg

Today we will enjoy our last morning game drive!

We will return to have breakfast and lunch at Madikwe Lelapa Lodge. We will have to vacate our rooms just before lunch. After lunch we will check out and head back by coach to Johannesburg to catch our overnight flight back to Montreal.

Day 14

Upon arrival in Montreal, a bus will transfer us back to Ottawa.  

 

Times on this itinerary are subject to change. You will be notified by Travac Tours staff or your Travac Tours Director.  

 

Electricity

  • The South African electricity supply is 220/230 volts AC 50 HZ.
  • Most plugs are 15 amp 3-prong or 5 amp 2-prong, with round pins. If an adaptor is called for, consider bringing one with you, although they can be purchased locally.
  • US-made appliances may need a transformer.
  • Most hotel rooms have 110-volt outlets for electric shavers and appliances.

 

Telecommunications

  • For outgoing international calls, dial 00 plus the country and area codes of the destination concerned. Refer to telephone directors for international dialing codes or obtain 24-hour assistance by calling 10903.
  • For incoming international calls, the code is +27 followed by the city code or cell phone code, dropping the first 0.
  • Some local city dialing codes: 011 – Johannesburg; 012 – Pretoria; 021 – Cape Town; 031 – Durban; 041 – Port Elizabeth.
  • 08 numbers are free to the caller; 0860 numbers are charged at local rates; 0861 numbers are charged at a flat rate.

 

Tipping

  • Tipping for your game reserves, local guides, and your local drivers are all included.
  • Tipping for your Travac Tours Director is not included. It is customary to tip your Travac Tours Director $5.00/day per person as a token of appreciation at the end of the tour. Gratuities are at your discretion and are always very much appreciated.
  • Tipping is widely practiced in South Africa. In restaurants and bars, 10% is the accepted tipping standard.

 

Visas:

  • Visit the South African Department of Home Affairs comprehensive website www.home-affairs.gov.za. This website details which nationals are exempt from visas, and which are obliged to make application.  Enquiries regarding South African visa info can also be obtained from South African missions in your country, or the nearest one to you. VISAS ARE NOT REQUIRED FOR CANADIAN CITIZENS TO ENTER INTO SOUTH AFRICA.

 

What to Wear:

  • We’re generally laid back in South Africa, so no need to haul out your best silks and diamonds when you head for our shores.  Here’s some clothing advice when in South Africa:
    • The fall/winter season is generally mild, comparing favourably with European summers. But we do get some days when temperatures sky-dive, especially in high-lying areas such as the Drakensberg, so be prepared with jerseys and jackets.  If you are going to the Cape, rain gear will be needed in this season.
    • Always bring a hat – the sun can be strong even in the winter months. Make sunglasses, a hat and sun block a firm part of your skincare kit.
    • Walking shoes are a good idea all year-round, with warm socks in the winter.
    • For game viewing, neutral-toned items are the best. Nothing too colourful.
    • For the evening, if you are dining at an upmarket restaurant or seeing a show, go the smart-casual route.

 

Customs:

  • South African Customs regulations afford visitors to the country the opportunity to bring in certain goods without incurring duties and value added tax (VAT).  These are limited in quantity and value. On arrival, you can take the green ‘nothing to declare’ channel if you stick to these allowances:
    • Personal effects
    • Other new or used goods not exceeding R3 000 (Additional goods, new or used, exceeding R12 000 will incur a duty charge of 20%)
    • Wine not exceeding 2 litres per person over the age of 18
    • Spirits and alcohol not exceeding l litre per person over the age of 18
    • Cigarettes not exceeding 200 and cigars not exceeding 20 per person over the age of 18
    • 250g cigarette tobacco or pipe tobacco per person over the age of 18
    • Perfumery not exceeding 50ml and toilet water not exceeding 250ml per person
  • But, if you have goods in excess of these allowances, take the red channel and declare your items, where you will be billed at the applicable rates by representatives of South African Customs. Note also, that if you are importing for business and commercial intent, you will also not qualify for these allowances, other than personal effects.
  • Customs in South Africa further stipulates that when you leave the country you are permitted to take up to R500 in South African Reserve Bank notes.  A 20% levy is charged on higher amounts.
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