South Africa and Mashatu Safari

Africa, allowing nature to move to its innate rhythm, guests experience wildlife at its best. This tour includes the exceptional diversity of landscapes, activities, nature and luxury.

Description

Africa, allowing nature to move to its innate rhythm, guests experience wildlife at its best. This tour includes the exceptional diversity of landscapes, activities, nature and luxury.

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive at Cape Town International Airport. (Flights to Cape Town are for your own arrangement, but please note that Brothers Safaris can assist with quotes and booking of these if required.) You will proceed to the Avis Car Rental kiosk outside the terminal and take delivery of your Group D rental vehicle booked for the next nine days. You will drive to your first destination – City Lodge V&A Waterfront overlooking the V & A Waterfront. Your Avis car rental includes the delivery fee, one-way fee, local tax, Collision Damage Waiver, Personal Accident Insurance, Liability Insurance, Theft Protection, Rental Contract Fee, Location Surcharge/Tourism levy and Unlimited Mileage. Check in on arrival and get settled. You will spend two nights at City Lodge V&A Waterfront. Immerse yourself in the vibrant history of beautiful Cape Town, from the Cape’s first original settlers to the politically turbulent years of apartheid, and marvel at its magnificent scenery. The earliest known remnants in the region were found at Peers Cave in Fish Hoek and date to between 15,000 and 12,000 years ago. Little is known of the history of the region’s first residents since there is no written history from the area before it was first mentioned by Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias in 1486. Vasco da Gama recorded a sighting of the Cape of Good Hope in 1497. In the late 16th century, Portuguese, French, Danish, Dutch and English ships regularly stopped over in Table Bay en route to the Indies. They traded tobacco, copper and iron with the Khoikhoi in exchange for fresh meat. It doesn’t get more convenient than this! The City Lodge Hotel Victoria and Alfred Waterfront are located right at the entrance to the V&A Waterfront – allowing guests to not only easily enjoy this great Cape Town attraction, but also take advantage of V&A Waterfront’s ideal location near local highlights. A nautical theme runs through the hotel and a spa-pool and sundowner bar are available for guests to relax in the warm Cape weather. Enjoy dinner at one of the many quality restaurants nearby (for your own expense). Overnight at the City Lodge V&A Waterfront on a bed and breakfast basis. All drinks and extras are for your own account.

Day 2
Enjoy a scrumptious breakfast before departing on your activity for the day. Today you will spend relaxing. Freshen up before dinner and a good night’s rest after a busy and exciting day! Your stay is at the hotel is on a bed and breakfast basis. All extras are for your own account.

Day 3
Wake up early and enjoy a delicious breakfast before checking out. Enjoy a leisurely drive from Cape Town to Stellenbosch. Stellenbosch is a town in the Western Cape province of South Africa, situated about 50 kilometres (31 miles) east of Cape Town, along the banks of the Eerste River at the foot of the Stellenbosch Mountain. It is the second oldest European settlement in the province, after Cape Town. The town became known as the City of Oaks or Eikestad in Afrikaans and Dutch due to the large number of oak trees that were planted by its founder, Simon van der Stel, to grace the streets and homesteads. The town was founded in 1679 by the Governor of the Cape Colony, Simon van der Stel, who named it after himself – Stellenbosch means “(van der) Stel’s Bush”. It is situated on the banks of the Eerste River (“First River”), so named as it was the first new river he reached and followed when he went on an expedition over the Cape Flats to explore the territory towards what is now known as Stellenbosch. The town grew so quickly that it became an independent local authority in 1682 and the seat of a magistrate with jurisdiction over 25,000 square kilometres (9,700 sq. mi) in 1685. Check in to Majeka House and have some time to settle into your room. Majeka House is an ideal base from which to explore the historical town of Stellenbosch with its interesting shops, galleries, museums, alfresco cafe culture and wine estates. Redefined, refurbished and energized their Premier Collection rooms are the epitome of tranquil luxury, creative space and everyday living. The flat-screen TV can be fully utilized from your bath, the shower features unique wooden floors and the plush amenities, thick towels and arty extras make your whole stay a blissful experience. To conclude, every room has a uniquely selected minibar with champagne, wines, mineral waters, decadent snacks, Lavazza coffee and much more. Enjoy dinner at one of the many quality restaurants nearby (for your own expense). Overnight at Majeka House on a bed and breakfast basis. All drinks and extras are for your own account.

Day 4
Enjoy a scrumptious breakfast before departing on your activity for the day. Today you will spend relaxing. Steeped in history and renowned for its exquisite scenery and outstanding wines, the Stellenbosch Wine Route is one of the Cape’s foremost attractions and should be a must on every visitor’s bucket list. What could possibly be better than soaking up sunbeams, sipping a sensational Sauvignon while gazing out over crimson vineyards, adorning the undulating, verdant hills, beneath the azure sky? Don’t spoil your appetite though – there is nowhere better to enjoy the delectable cuisine, perfectly paired with delicious wines than one of the acclaimed wine estates in the area. Enjoy delightful tours to the Stellenbosch Wine Route and spend the day hopping between estates, sampling each cellar’s best offerings, while revelling in riveting scenery and indulging in mouth-watering gourmet gastronomy. Some of the better-known estates include: Delheim, Muratie, Morgenhof, JC Le Roux, Meerlust and Waterford, just to mention a few. Make sure that your Stellenbosch Wine Route tour includes as many estates as possible, so that you get a true taste of the natural splendour and enjoyable offerings of the area. Enjoy dinner and turn in for the night. Your stay is at the hotel is on a bed and breakfast basis. All extras are for your own account.

Day 5
Enjoy breakfast before checking out and departing for Oudtshoorn. Oudtshoorn, the “ostrich capital of the world”, is a town located to the south of the Outeniqua Mountains. Two ostrich-feather booms, during 1865-1870 and 1900-1914, truly established the settlement. With approximately 60,000 inhabitants, it is the largest town in the Little Karoo region. The town’s economy is primarily reliant on the ostrich farming and tourism industries. Oudtshoorn is home to the world’s largest ostrich population, with a number of specialized ostrich breeding farms, such as the Safari Show Farm and the Highgate Ostrich Show Farm. The pioneer farmers in the area that would be known as Oudtshoorn arrived in the 1750’s and became well-established in the area by the end of the 18th century. In addition to rearing livestock, they cultivated wheat and barley, made wine and brandy, and grew tobacco as well as a variety of soft fruit. The Cango Caves are located in Precambrian limestones at the foothills of the Swartberg range near the town of Oudtshoorn. The principal cave is one of the country’s finest, best known, and most popular tourist caves and attracts many visitors from overseas. Although the extensive system of tunnels and chambers go on for over 4 km (2.5 mi), only about a quarter of this is open to visitors, who may proceed into the cave only in groups supervised by a guide. Cave paintings and artefacts indicate that the caves were in use throughout prehistory over a long period during the Middle and Later Stone Ages. The caves were rediscovered in modern times in 1780 by a local farmer named Jacobus Van Zyl. The chamber he first was lowered down into was found to be as long as a football field and is named Van Zyl Hall in his honour. Further exploration was done and a second chamber discovered in 1792. The caves soon became a popular place to visit. Check in to De Kombuys and have some time to settle into your room. Breakfast at The Marbled Wagyu is included and the restaurant is open from 8 am to 5 pm with dinner after 5 pm per reservation. Die Bakhuis offers one double bedroom (en-suite) and a comfortable, open plan living area fitted with a kitchenette, dining and sitting area. The living area has a ¾ day bed that can be converted into an additional sleeping option if required. Double doors lead out to the cottage’s patio by the Shiraz Vineyards. Each cottage has its own braai (barbeque) and Indonesian teak outdoor furniture. The guesthouse provides quality white bedding and towels, as well as coffee and tea facilities, and select toiletries. Daily housekeeping, private dining & turndown service can be provided (unless privacy is requested). During the cold Klein Karoo winter months, they proved fluffy duvets, hot chocolate, electric hot water bottles and lovely, authentic wood ovens for heating. In summer, their unique eco pool offers respite from the heat. This pool’s wonderful design allows for water plants in furrows to filter the pool water. Enjoy dinner and turn in for the night. Your stay is at the hotel is on a bed and breakfast basis. All extras are for your own account.

Day 6
Enjoy breakfast before checking out and departing for Knysna. Little is known about the indigenous inhabitants of Knysna, the Khoikhoi. The area east of present-day George was separated by high mountains and deep gorges, making it virtually inaccessible to European travellers. Nevertheless, the first Europeans arrived in the area in 1760, and the farm Melkhoutkraal (literally translating from Afrikaans as ‘milkwood kraal’) was established on the eastern shore of the Knysna Lagoon. Stephanus Terblans, the first European farmer to settle in the area, was given a loan permit to farm here in 1770. Upon moving to Knysna George Rex, a British-born entrepreneur credited as being the founder of Knysna acquired the loan rights to Melkhoutkraal in 1804 and later, in 1816, to the farm Welbedacht, which he renamed Eastford. He gave 80 acres (32 ha) of Eastford to the Colonial Government, on which the Royal Navy established the township of Melville. Rex’s properties were sold when he died in 1839. On their way to New Zealand, the Thesen family who were travelling from Norway fancied the little hamlet of Knysna so much that they decided to stay, bringing with them their knowledge of commerce and sailing. Soon, timber was being exported to the Cape from the vast areas of forest surrounding Knysna, and a steam sawmill and small shipyard were established. Later, these were relocated to Paarden Island, later known as Thesen’s Island. Check in to The Lofts Boutique Hotel and have some time to settle into your room. What better way to enjoy Knysna than a stay on an island, located not only in the heart of the Knysna Lagoon but also in a Blue Flag Marina in the very centre of Knysna? The unique location of this Boutique Hotel on Thesen Harbour Town sets the tone for a tranquil, revitalising, relaxing and refreshing stay on the island. Driving over the Venetian style bridge you are transported to the world of nature, lending an invisible and intangible flavour to your holiday experience at The Lofts Boutique Hotel. Set within the remodelled timber frame of the old Knysna boatbuilding shed, the hotel rooms take one’s breath away with their industrial refurbishment and design. This fresh, smart-casual approach is far from the ordinary and caters well to every desire. Enjoy dinner at one of the many quality restaurants nearby (for your own expense). Overnight at The Lofts Boutique Hotel on a bed and breakfast basis. All drinks and extras are for your own account.

Day 7
Enjoy a scrumptious breakfast before departing on your activity for the day. Today you will spend exploring the Garden Route. Knysna is a gem on the Garden Route and is flanked by George and Plettenberg Bay. The town resides neatly on the outskirts of the Knysna Lagoon and is surrounded by mountains that are home to the notorious Knysna Forest. The area has an incredibly laid back atmosphere and serves as both a permanent and holiday address for many locals and tourists. It is popular for its annual Oyster and Pink festivals and is a hub of activity all year round. The Knysna Heads are especially well known and many restaurants can be found close to them, offering sprawling views of the ocean. The lagoon is great for paddling and Thessen Island sits snug in the middle of this lagoon. The Island boasts many of the best restaurants and residencies in Knysna. While Thessen Island and Knysna as a whole are a hub of activity, the atmosphere is quiet and laid back. However, if you require even more solace, then retreat to the Knysna Forest to enjoy an elephant experience. Alternatively, take on the Pezula Golf Course and let off some steam on the 18 holes. Knysna also has plenty of markets offering local creations, food and other curiosities. Of course, no tours to Knysna would be complete without the taste of a few oysters, festival or not. The Tsitsikamma region is known throughout the world as one of the most beautiful places on earth. Nestled in the emerald foliage of the Garden Route, the Tsitsikamma National Park is one of South Africa’s best-kept secrets and a truly unique natural gem. Tsitsikamma is a Khoi word meaning ‘place of abundant or sparkling water’ – an apt name considering the abundance of bubbling natural rivers and streams decorating the region. The Tsitsikamma region stretches from the sweeping Bloukrans River in the west all the way to the Eerste Rivier in the east. Bordered on the north by the majestic Tsitsikamma Mountains and the tepid Indian Ocean on the south, the sought-after destination is flanked by incredible natural scenery every direction you look. The lush park covers an 80km stretch of sweeping coastline with popular holiday destination Nature’s Valley resting on the western end and the world-famous Storms River Mouth at its epicentre. The protected area is covered in a thick blanket of indigenous forest along with the odd commercial plantation and an abundance of natural Fynbos. Deep river gorges fork between the plateau as they rush down towards the sea, resulting in a dramatic spectacle of tumbling waterfalls and deep kloofs. Enjoy dinner at one of the many quality restaurants nearby (for your own expense). Overnight at The Lofts Boutique Hotel is on a bed and breakfast basis. All drinks and extras are for your own account.

Day 8
Enjoy a scrumptious breakfast before checking out and departing for Port Elizabeth. Check in to Singa Lodge and have some time to settle into your room. Singa Lodge offers romantic & luxury accommodation close to the beach in Port Elizabeth. Each of the nine luxury suites and three executive suites in this luxurious modern fusion of Eastern and African décor is distinctive, offering returning guests a fresh experience with every visit. Freshen up before dinner and a good night’s rest after a busy and exciting day! Your stay is at the hotel is on a bed and breakfast basis. All extras are for your own account.

Day 9
Enjoy breakfast before checking out and departing for Port Elizabeth Airport where you will return your rental vehicle. Check-in for your flight from Port Elizabeth to O.R. Tambo International Airport. Remember that this is a domestic flight and so check-in is 1.5 hours prior to departure (flight cost is included in the safari cost). Check-in for your flight from Johannesburg to Limpopo Valley Airfield for Mashatu. Remember that this is an international flight and so check-in is 2 hours prior to departure (flight cost is included in the safari cost). On arrival at Limpopo Valley Airfield, you will be transferred to Mashatu Main Camp by road. Transfer time is approximately 35 minutes, depending on the wildlife sightings en-route. The adventure has begun in earnest……

Check in on arrival and take some time to settle in. Enjoy high tea before setting out in the late afternoon for a guided nature drive in an open game viewer vehicle, in search of Africa’s majestic wildlife; you never know what you might stumble across in this wilderness…. Your excursion includes a stop to stretch your legs and enjoy a gin and tonic while watching the sun go down. Once you have returned to camp, freshen up or meet for drinks, followed by dinner and perhaps a nightcap before turning in for the night. A good night’s rest awaits. Your stay includes all meals, snacks, teas/coffees, twice daily scheduled camp activities and transfers to/from Limpopo Valley Airfield. Mashatu Game Reserve comprises 29,000 hectares (72000 acres) of privately owned land in the conserved wilderness area known as the Northern Tuli Game Reserve. The reserve lies in the eastern extremity of Botswana where the great Limpopo and Shashe Rivers converge. This exceptionally diverse landscape includes wide open plains, grassland, riverine forests, rocky hills, marshland and majestic sandstone ridges. Mashatu, “Land of Giants”, takes its name from the locally-sacrosanct Mashatu or Nyala berry tree (Xanthrocercis zambesiaca) and the giants that roam its terrain. These magnificent dark green trees, which are found along the rivers in the reserve, provide refuge, shade and food to a myriad wildlife. Mashatu, which is one of the largest privately owned game reserves in southern Africa, avails a sanctuary to the largest herds of elephant on privately owned land on the continent. In addition to that, the world’s tallest mammal, the giraffe, the world’s largest antelope, the eland, the world’s largest bird, the ostrich, and the world’s heaviest flying bird, the kori bustard are all part of the game drive experience on Mashatu. Add the king of the beasts, the lion and the iconic baobab tree…and you have Africa’s big seven land-based giants. Because of the exceptional diversity of landscapes of the reserve, Mashatu enjoys an ecological biodiversity uncommon in other game reserves. Three members of the Big Five, namely the leopard, the lion and the elephant are complimented by some lesser well-known, but interesting, species, including the aardwolf (or “earth wolf”), the bat-eared fox, the African wildcat, the honey badger, the spotted hyena and the black-backed jackal. For visitors who are interested in bird life and bird photography, Mashatu is home to more than 350 bird species, including the enchanting lilac-breasted roller. The lilac breasted roller is Botswana’s national bird and has striking plumage which made up of eight different colours.

Day 10, 11 and 12
After an early morning wake-up call, enjoy a light breakfast before departing on the morning activity in search of animals not yet seen. Return to camp for a mouth-watering meal and some rest and relaxation time before departing on your late afternoon activity. Late afternoon you head out on another drive or cruise in search of species not yet spotted. Sundowners out in the bush will make for a delightful sunset. After returning to the Lodge, freshen up before meeting for dinner and drinks around the campfire…. and relish in the day’s tales. After dinner enjoy a good night’s rest. Your stay includes all meals, snacks, teas/coffees, twice daily scheduled camp activities and transfers to/from Limpopo Valley Airfield.

Day 13
There’s an early start for visitors who want to enjoy an early morning game drive. On return to the camp, and after a quick brunch, it’s time to check out and say farewell to Mashatu. You will be transferred back to the Limpopo Valley Airfield for your onward journey at 13h30 where you will board a chartered flight to MalaMala airstrip. Flight time is approximately 2 hours 15 minutes. Luggage restriction: strictly 15kg [33lb] + 6kg [13lb] carry on soft (all-sides) luggage/duffel bags with no rigid sides. You will then be transferred to Rattray’s on MalaMala by road. Transfer time is approximately 40 minutes, depending on the wildlife sightings. On arrival at the camps within the reserve, guests are introduced to their ranger who acts as host, guide and educator. While an itinerary is suggested to take advantage of the more comfortable temperature ranges and the enhanced game viewing opportunities, it is also important to have time to relax and enjoy the camp surroundings and to immerse oneself in the environment. Itineraries are not set in stone. Guests are encouraged to discuss their preferences with their ranger on arrival, and all possible will be done to accommodate them within the confines of the camp routine, and with consideration to safari companions sharing the same ranger and vehicle. A later departure may be arranged from the camp to meet up with the early morning drive for those who are not enamoured with an early morning wake up call. Check in on arrival and take some time to settle in. Enjoy high tea before setting out in the late afternoon for a guided nature drive in an open game viewer vehicle, in search of Africa’s majestic wildlife; you never know what you might stumble across in this wilderness. Your excursion includes a stop to stretch your legs and enjoy a gin and tonic while watching the sun go down. Once you have returned to camp, freshen up or meet for drinks, followed by dinner and perhaps a nightcap before turning in for the night. MalaMala Game Reserve is the Safari Industry’s blueprint to the luxury photographic safari. In existence since 1927, this massive thriving tract of land produces the most exciting wildlife experience this side of the equator. MalaMala Game Reserve is the largest private Big Five game reserve in South Africa. Comprising 13 300 ha (33 000 acres), MalaMala shares a 19 km (12 miles) unfenced border with the world-renowned Kruger National Park and lies strategically sandwiched between the National Park and the Sabi Sand Reserve. For nearly nine decades, the custodians of this land have remained focused to preserve and protect this special piece of Africa. Allowing nature to move to its innate rhythm, guests experience today what the forefathers of the African Safari would have experienced at the turn of the century. This philosophy has paid off, as experienced by a veritable collection of photojournalists and film-makers who have made MalaMala their destination of choice to capture footage of wildlife viewing that would rival any Hollywood production for thrilling and breathtaking animal encounters. Your stay includes all meals, local drinks, snacks, teas/coffees, scheduled shared game drive activities, nature walks, limited laundry service, transfers to/from the MalaMala Airfield and the compulsory community levy.

Day 14 & 15
As dawn breaks over the African bush, a gentle tap on your door will wake you to the delights of a new day. After morning tea/ coffee and rusks, it’s time to head out on your morning game drive, looking for the many species of wildlife that abound in the reserve. Not only can one expect to see different species at different times of the day, but they may also be busy with different activities/behaviour…… so each drive is a chance to discover something new! Enjoy a coffee break while out on drive, and head back to the lodge mid-morning to enjoy a delicious breakfast. If you wish, you can walk off your breakfast on a short walk near your lodge, accompanied by your ranger, who will share his insight into the smaller animals and vegetation in the area. Enjoy some leisure time before high tea mid-afternoon. After high tea, you head out on another game drive, in search of species not yet seen! Return to your lodge early evening to freshen up and enjoy a mouth-watering dinner beneath the magnificent African sky. Your stay includes all meals, local drinks, snacks, teas/coffees, scheduled shared game drive activities, nature walks, limited laundry service, transfers to/from the MalaMala Airfield and the compulsory community levy.

Day 16
After breakfast it is time to pack and check out, sadly it is time to head home. Transfer to the MalaMala airstrip for OR Tambo. (International flights are for your own arrangement, but please note that Brothers Safaris can assist with quotes and booking of these if required.)

*** END OF SERVICES**

Included

  • Your safari cost includes:
    • Transfers as specified
    • Domestic flights as specified
    • International flight as specified
    • Avis Rental vehicle
    • All accommodation and meals as stipulated in the itinerary
    • All activities and entrance fees as stipulated in the itinerary
    • Tourism levies and Government VAT
    • Community Levy at MalaMala

    • Not included:
      • Items of a personal nature
      • Drinks (unless otherwise specified)
      • Additional excursions/activities not included in this itinerary
      • Medical/travel insurance (compulsory)
      • Meals indicated not included
      • Gratuities

      Please note that due to the nature of this experience, times and plans may need to be adjusted slightly as we proceed. Please bear with us should this become necessary.

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