“AFS Safari in Style” - Luxury South Africa

1 woman needed to balance 770-432-8225

Sept 23- Oct 1, 2017

Book Now!

Memories are made of extraordinary experiences. This exclusive once-in-a-lifetime trip for discerning travelers presents spectacular game viewing, stellar accommodations in some of the world’s finest properties - which we had to book a year in advance! SA is “a world in one country” with such diverse scenic beauty. You will not only get a chance to see the Big 5 (lion, elephant, leopard, rhino, cape buffalo), but also the Marine Big 5 (shark, whale, seal, dolphin, penguin). We begin in South Africa’s premier private Shamwari Game Reserve teeming with wild animals which ranks as one of the country’s best bush experiences. In private reserves, smaller is better because the animals are more concentrated and guests can enjoy off-road drives for more close-up views. AFSers love tented camps. Shamwari Bayethe tents are a “glamping” experience like no other, so awe-inspiring, you’ll never want to leave. Imagine tents with A/C, indoor/outdoor showers, and more to “rough it” in style. (Mind the animals. They roam free here.) All gourmet meals included, a great spa and you’ll be treated like royalty by the family of staff. Activities include special visits to Born Free Big Cat Sanctuary, Rhino Awareness Center and Wildlife Rehab Center. Enjoy thrilling game drives at dawn with expert trackers. At dusk, there’s spot-lit drives when the predators are on the move, followed by drinks and stargazing under the Southern Cross.

Overview

Fly to sparkling Cape Town for 3 glorious days of fun tours like cable cars up Table Mountain, Cape Point where two oceans meet, Boulders Beach penguins or visit the famous Winelands.  Endless options await here in Africa’s adventure capital. 

Finally, we saved the best for last as we head up the spectacular Whale Coast to the paradise of award-wining Grootbos Private Nature Reserve!    Grootbos has been on my bucket list for years and I’m thrilled to present it.  This “Unique Lodges of the World Property” showcases the Cape Floral Kingdom and amazing sea life at the southern tip of Africa.

You’ll love your 5-star deluxe chalet suite here and the activities like horse rides on the beach, whale watching, jeep floral safari, cage shark dive, community projects, the spa and more.  From here we head to Hemanus, “Whale Capital of the World” for the annual Whale Festival.  Our past group loved the art, food, the “Whale Crier” announcing his whale sightings, boat and helicopter rides to get the phenomenal photos. 

The dry season of September is the best time to go because of cooler temps, whale season and visible wildlife.  No shots, no visa, no bugs in these malaria-free zones.  Whether you’re a safari beginner, photo buff or been here before, this trip has it all.  You work hard and deserve to be pampered on an adventure that Trip Advisor rates 5 stars.  Limited to just 22 guests with me and Terry leading.  Indulge your senses with sun, surf, and safari in style.  Come live an epic dream!

Book Now!

Our Glorious Itinerary

Sept 22/23 – Fly USA via Johannesburg, then 1-hour flight to Port Elizabeth

South African Airways SAA offers great schedules.  You can arrange own air or we’ll help you.  Some like to add a stopover in another country pre or post trip.  Later we’ll present group air from Washington Dulles into PE and out of Cape Town.


Sept 24 - Welcome to beautiful Port Elizabeth, South Africa with beautiful beaches on the Eastern Cape!

(Land portion begins.)

Shamwari Game Reserve is the ultimate luxury Big Five African Safari destination and one of the most successful conservation initiatives in Africa with responsible tourism where animals can thrive.  Steeped In history back to a time when multiple game roamed wild, the 25,000 hectare reserve boasts 5 eco-systems thus supporting many forms of plant, animal and birdlife.  Here it’s about preserving this vanishing way of life.  Shamwari has received numerous international awards and is considered the crown jewel on S. Africa’s private game reserves. 

We check into deluxe Bayethe Lodge.  The name comes from the African greeting “by-ye-ti”, meaning “I salute you” with the warmest welcome possible.  This is a tented paradise like no other.  All our 12 tent suites have A/C, mini-bar, stunning bathroom abd private plunge pool on your deck overlooking the river to view animals.  The main lodge has a large viewing deck with bar and stylish dining room with a selection of gourmet meals and fine wines.

Shamwari is proud to be associated with major conservation institutions to promote awareness.  3 facilities available to guests are; Ian Player Rhino Awareness Center, Born Free Big Cat Sanctuary and Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.   You may get a first-hand encounter with passionate on-site vets who care for injured and abandoned animals, which are then released back to the wild.

After you feel refreshed, you’ll get revitalized for our first afternoon Game Drive when the predators are most active!

Overnight: Shamwari Bayethe     B, L, D

lodge


Sept 25 - Morning & Evening Game Drives

Today you spend the day discovering the reserve on both early morning and early evening game drives in open safari vehicles. 

Enjoy “sundowners” by the pool, get some spa treatments and visit the conservation centers.

Overnight: Shamwari Bayethe  B,L,D


Sept 26 - Cape Town

After breakfast, transfer to airport for your included 2 hour flight to fabulous Cape Town.  There we are met and transferred to the Commodore Hotel for three glorious nights overlooking Victoria and Alfred Waterfront with views of Table Mountain. 

This hotel is a hot leisure destination with much to do nearby.  Enjoy the spa, pool, health club and buffet breakfasts.  It’s just a few minutes’ walk to Two Oceans Aquarium and V&A filled with many entertainment venues. 

Breathtaking Cape Town or “Mother City” in the Western Cape has time after time been voted within the top city destinations worldwide.  Resting on the confluence of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans with the backdrop of mountains, it’s exceptionally scenic and in a class of its own.  It is blessed with a bustling harbor, word-class beaches, top notch vineyards, markets, museums, gardens and much more.

Our comprehensive city orientation tour starts with a trip up iconic Table Mountain.  The state of the art cable car rotates 360 degrees on its way to the top.  At the summit are short walks to enjoy magnificent vistas.  Later we head to Signal Hill for great views of Sea Point and Robben Island.  Other highlights include a brief tour of the Malay Quarter, City Centre, Company Gardens, Castle of Good Hope and more.  

Overnight: Commodore Hotel B

h


Sept 27 – Table Mountain – City Tour

Free day.  See Trip Tips for descriptions of suggested optional activities.  

Cape Point : R 970 per person ($72)  - 6 plus 

If it’s your  first time to So. Africa, this is a must!  Discover the beauty of the Cape Peninsula on this full day tour incorporating the stunning coastal town of Hout Bay and Chapmans Peak Drive, the Cape point Nature Reserve with the Cape point as it juts out into the ocean and the penguins at Boulders Beach . You will meander your way up the western coastline and back along the eastern seaboard passing along spectacular coastal cliffs, quaint coastal villages and all the way surrounded by mountains and sea. This really depicts the best of Cape Town 

Winelands:   R 1200 per person ($89) with cheetah experience! 

The Cheetah Outreach  - this would be an additional R 140 per person for adult cheetah encounter or R240 per person for cub cheetah encounter.  Discover the beautiful winelands region of the Western Cape , starting off with a  visit to the Cheetah Outreach program where you will have an opportunity to do a tour of the facility and interact with a cheetah. Thereafter you will travel through the student town of Stellenbosch and  second oldest European settlement in South Africa with its Cape Dutch architecture before heading to Franschhoek. Franschoek , known as the  wine and gourmet capital of South Africa, is a quaint town surrounded by mountains and vineyards and here you will board the Wine tram – a hop on hop off system visiting all the wine estates of the region. 

 

Shark cage diving: R 2600 per person (190) including transfers from Cape Town 

Want a close up experience with a Great White… come and experience a life changing moment that will leave you invigorated and educated.   This is an educational tour out to Dyer Island in Walker Bay, an area with an abundance of Great Whites  around the seal colony. You will get to climb into the cage and submerse yourself into the water as the Great Whites swim by… completely safe, no diving experience required. All equipment is supplied including wetsuits, goggles and snorkels


Evening free to revel in Cape Town’s nightlife!

Overnight: Commodore Hotel B


Sept 28 - Free day in Cape Town

Choose a another tour above if you want.  We intentionally left free time because there’s so many choices of things to do and most AFSers have been here.  If this is your first visit to CPT, we suggest a must-see tour to Cape Point.

Overnight: Commodore Hotel B


Sept 29 - Grootbos!

We are collected for a 2-hour scenic drive along the rugged coast with mountains rising from the sapphire sea, coves, valleys and seaside villages.  Whales wallow in these waters.  We’ve watched pods of huge whales breaching right in front of us here. 

Welcome to Grootbos Private Nature Reserve which boasts the best of two worlds – exquisite 5-star accommodation and extravagance in an idyllic haven of nature.   You’ll see unparrelled floral diversity, rare fynbos, birdlife, milkwood forests and mountain slopes overlooking the whale watching mecca of Walker Bay.  This is a whale sanctuary where whales come to mate.  You’ll have the chance to get close to these on a boat tour.

Grootbos is more than just a luxury accommodation and eco-adventure.  Your stay directly contributes to the conservation efforts of the Grootbos Foundation that helps sustain the livelihoods of local communities.  Grootbos is an award winning pioneer in sustainable tourism. 

Overnight: Grootbos B, L, D

g


Sept 30 – Grootbos & Hermanus

We stay in the 12 chalet suites of Forest Lodge, stylishly furnished with canopy beds, cozy fireplace, DVD player, double showers and private deck with outside showers overlooking an ancient forest.  The main lodge has an infinity pool, bar and elegant dining room with 5 course dinners and world class wines. 

There are many activities here included in your stay; horseback rides, nature walks, coastal hikes, cave tours, beach picnics, community tours and 4x4 Floral Safari.  In September fields here burst with colorful wild flowers.  (Additional tours include; Marine Big 5 boat tour to Dyer Island, shark cage diving at Shark Alley, wine tours, scenic flights and spa treatments.) 

2pm depart for Hermanus Whale Festival.  Depart with guide as we drive an hour to the “Whale Capital” town of Hermanus.  Hundreds of whales come here to breed.  Females and calves swim in clear beaches as males put on spectacular displays.  40% are Southern Right, but you can see Humpback, Brydes and Killer Whales.  See them breach, blow and belly-flop.  The shallow waters provide a safe nursery for the calves as well as great white sharks, bottlenose dolphins and fur seals.  Enjoy the annual Whale Festival which our past groups loved.  There’s music, craft stalls, art, food and the Whale Crier who announces whale sightings near shore.

Overnight: Grootbos B, L, D


Oct 1 – Grootbos Activities

After breakfest enjoy activities like coastal cave walk, whale watching, shark cave dive, horse ride and followed by lunch.  

Depart around 2pm on a beautiful drive back to Cape Town airport by 3pm for flights to JNB and then connecting flights home.   

Evening flight back to USA arriving home Oct 2. 

 


Activity Level:

2. I have no trouble walking and if necessary, can walk for 3+ miles. Uneven surfaces are not a problem. I do not need a cane or walking device.

Pricing

Don’t miss this upscale safari of a lifetime!  Limited to just 22 participants.  No singles rooms available.  We will match you.

An $800 deposit will secure your space.

Land Price:  $2995 plus $79 domestic air.

Air -  Details later in Trip Tips (After booking, you can view Trip Tips by logging to AFS and the tab will be visible) or you can arrange own air. 

Options

Name
Description
Price
Gratuities

This 'option' is a required additional charge for this trip.

It is protocol to tip your drivers, porters and local guides - we have the absolute best. $13 pp per day should suffice as minimum and will be added to your final bill. We will give this to your GTL to disperse accordingly
$85.00
Domestic Air

This 'option' is a required additional charge for this trip.

Domestic air
$79.00
AFS Full Day Cape Point Nature Reserve
SEPT 27 If it’s your first time to So. Africa, this is a must! Discover the beauty of the Cape Peninsula on this full day tour incorporating the stunning coastal town of Hout Bay and Chapmans Peak Drive, the Cape point Nature Reserve with the Cape point as it juts out into the ocean and the penguins at Boulders Beach . You will meander your way up the western coastline and back along the eastern seaboard passing along spectacular coastal cliffs, quaint coastal villages and all the way surrounded by mountains and sea. This really depicts the best of Cape Town
$85.00
Full Day Wineland with Wine Tram
Description posted later this week. Spectacular scenery. I also arranged visit here at Cheetah Rehab Center.
$75.00
Shark Dive
Sept 30 - Want a close up experience with a Great White… come and experience a life changing moment that will leave you invigorated and educated. This is an educational tour out to Dyer Island in Walker Bay, an area with an abundance of Great Whites around the seal colony. You will get to climb into the cage and submerse yourself into the water as the Great Whites swim by… completely safe , no diving experience required. All equipment is supplied including wetsuits, goggles and snorkels
$190.00
Book Now!

Please review AFS Terms and Conditions as well as Heading Abroad with AFS. Group air - Airlines may add surcharges to offset fuel inflation or taxes. The total ticket cost is not final until we receive your final payment and are ticketed. If doing own air, airport transfer may or may not be included depending on your air schedule. Do not buy air until we either group air is set or we advise - dates can change! Itineraries are prepared often a year in advance. Though not likely, AFS and our suppliers reserve the right to change or modify such to meet local conditions. Although rare, hotels can change – all hotel rooms are run of the house. Our prices are based on current taxation structures. In case any revision in taxes, sudden fluctuation in currency levels, change in Visa fees or increase in fuel charges, we will amend our prices and inform you accordingly. Land price is based on minimum number of trip participants.