Leisure's Legendary 17-Day Grand South Africa Tour

Author: Srikanth Krishna on Feb 26,2019

Discover the majestic beauty of South Africa where a luxurious adventure awaits you. Our 17-day private tour begins with the Rovos Rail taking you across the country’s heartland in style to Cape Town, one of the world’s most striking cities, where Table Mountain dominates the skyline. Head to the Winelands for a taste of South Africa’s best wines, and then revel in the gorgeous seascapes of the Garden Route. For many, the safari experience in South Africa is the highlight of the trip and Sabi Sands, Kapama, and Kruger Game Reserves are sure to delight with breathtaking sightings of the “Big 5” as well as a variety of other wildlife.


The Tour at a Glance: 


Day 1: Arrival in Johannesburg 

Day 2: Board the Rovos Rail train

Day 3: Rovos Rail via Kimberley 

Day 4: Rovos Rail – Cape Town 

Day 5: Cape Town 

Day 6: Cape Town 

Day 7: Cape Town –  Franschhoek ( Wineland Region)

Day 8: Franschhoek – Hermanus

Day 9: Hermanus Plettenberg Bay 

Day 10: Plettenberg Bay ( Coastal line)

Day 11: Plettenberg Bay – Sabi Sands Game Reserve

Day 12 & 13: Sabi Sands Game Reserve

Day 14: Sabi Sands Game Reserve – Kapama Game Reserve

Day 15: Kapama Game Reserve – Kruger National Park

Day 16: Kruger National Park
Day 17: Kruger National Park – Johannesburg

Tour Price

Our private tours typically range from $500 - $1000 per person/per night depending on chosen hotels and room categories, vehicles used, types of tours, flight cost, time of year and other factors. Make an inquiry for a customized trip quote.

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Detailed Itinerary

Detailed Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive Johannesburg

Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to the Saxon Boutique Hotel for an overnight stay. The rest of the day is free to relax after your journey. 


Day 2: Johannesburg - Pretoria - Rovos Rail
After a morning at leisure, you will be transferred to the Capital Park Station in Pretoria to board the Rovos Rail train to Cape Town. The train’s staterooms evoke a bygone era of luxury rail travel with their rich fabrics and panoramic windows to view the passing scenery. In the Victorian dining car, feast on gourmet cuisine and sip fine South African wines. As you journey from Gauteng to the Western Cape, the train will make several stops along the way to visit some fantastic sights. 


Day 3: Rovos Rail via Kimberly

Your first stop this morning will be in the diamond mining city of Kimberly. After its founding in 1873, the settlement became famous for the discovery of diamonds. The De Beers corporation was founded in Kimberly. Visit the Diamond Mine Museum to learn the history of diamond excavation and its importance in the local community. Afterwards, return to the train to continue your scenic journey. 


Day 4: Rovos Rail – Cape Town

This morning, visit Matjiesfontein, a charming historical village. In this well-preserved town, you can see how people lived during colonial times. Return to the train for the final leg of your rail adventure. Upon arrival in Cape Town, you will be met and transferred to the Cape Grace Hotel for a three-night stay. Enjoy the evening at leisure. 


Day 5: Cape Town 

Today, take a half day tour of this bustling city, spectacularly situated at the foot of Table Mountain. Founded back in 1652, Cape Town is South Africa’s oldest city. Its key geographic location on the trade routes between Europe and Asia has exposed it to a wide range of cultures over the centuries. Start with a walk past the Houses of Parliament and the Company Gardens. Explore the Museum Mile, where the South African Museum, the National Art Gallery, and the old slave lodge are located. Stop by Greenmarket Square and the Malay Quarter, then take the cable car to the top of Table Mountain for spectacular views of the city!

After lunch, you will be transferred to the V&A Waterfront where you will board a ferry to Robben Island. Here you will be joined by a guide—a former prisioner of the island during the Apartheid years, who will give a moving personal account of the experience. Nelson Mandela was imprisoned here for nearly 27 years; you can see the cell where he spent much of that time. Following this fascinating tour, the ferry will take you back to the waterfront. 


Day 6: Cape Town

This morning, you will be collected from your hotel for a full day Cape Peninsula tour. The tour begins at Clifton and Camps Bay for a beach view. In Hout Bay you can take a brief cruise to Seal Island, where there is a colony of Cape Fur Seals. The next stop is the Cape of Good Hope National Reserve. At Chapman’s Peak take a cable car to see the convergence of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. After stopping for lunch, visit the naval base at Simonstown. End the tour at Boulders Beach, home to a playful breeding colony of African Penguins.

Day 7:  Cape Town - Franschhoek

Today, check out of your Cape Town hotel and head out on a guided gourmet tasting tour of the scenic Winelands region. Along the wine route are beautiful estates set in rolling vineyards, each with its unique charms. Paarl has a beautiful mountain setting and the Afrikaans Language Monument; Stellenbosch is the second-oldest town in South Africa, with some fine examples of the famous Cape Dutch architecture; Franschhoek is beloved for its late Victorian architecture and has earned a reputation as the culinary capital of South Africa. Check into La Residence for an overnight stay.

Day 8: Franschhoek - Hermanus

This morning, your guide will transfer you to The Marine Hermanus, where you will spend the night. The rest of the day is free to enjoy the views over the cliffs and the stunning seascapes over Walker Bay and the Overberg Mountains. Round off the day with a scenic sundowner at The Sun Lounge cocktail bar. 


Day 9: Hermanus Plettenberg Bay

After a morning at leisure, you will be transferred further down the coast to The Plettenberg for a two-night stay. This area is situated along the Garden Route, a stretch of coastline known for its sweeping vistas, abundant sea life, and small picturesque towns. 


Day 10: Plettenberg Bay

Spend today at leisure in Plettenberg Bay. This small town is known for its stretches of pristine coastline and abundance of marine life. Colonies of seals, dolphins, and whales can be seen in the bay. Plettenberg Bay is flanked by the Tsitsikamma forest which offers wonderful hiking and nature exploration. You may also wish to spend the day at the hotel, enjoying the fantastic cuisine or the view from its infinity pool. 


Day 11:  Plettenberg Bay – Sabi Sands Game Reserve

This morning you will be met and transferred to the airport for your flight to the Sabi Sands Game Reserve and the luxurious Singita Boulders safari lodge for a three-night stay.  After settling in, set out for a late afternoon game drive in this magnificent region. Wildlife in the Sabi Sands Reserve is abundant in the “Big Five” (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino) and smaller creatures. During your time off at Singita, you have a variety of options to choose from, which include indulging in a massage or beauty treatment at the luxurious spa or relaxing under the African sunshine on your deck. 


Day 12 & 13:  Sabi Sands Game Reserve

The next two full days are at leisure. You may take a morning and afternoon safari each day. If you wish, you may arrange a visit to a local community to learn about life outside of the safari lodges.


Day 14: Sabi Sands Game Reserve – Kapama Game Reserve

After breakfast and your morning game drive, you will be transferred to the local airstrip for your flight to Camp Jabulani, a unique experience in the private game reserve of Kapama, for an overnight stay. Spend the day enjoying safari activities at the lodge. Camp Jabulani was started when the owner took in a homeless elephant; the number of pachyderms has grown over the years, and Camp Jabulani has become famous for its friendly resident elephants!

Day 15: Kapama Game Reserve – Kruger National Park

Today is spent at Camp Jabulani participating in a variety of activities including open vehicle game drives, and a visit to the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Center. The reserve on which Camp Jabulani is located is home to a wide variety of game including buffalo, rhinoceros, giraffe, zebra, blue wildebeest, waterbuck, kudu and many other species of antelope, so game viewing is excellent.

Later, you will be transferred to the Royal Malewane for a two-night stay. Set along the western edge of Kruger National Park, the luxurious Royal Malewane allows guests to appreciate the privacy, opulence, and discreet attention they receive here.

Day 16: Kruger National Park

Spend the full day game viewing at Royal Malewane. In addition to the “Big Five”, there are over 300 bird species and countless other animals on the expansive reserve. Along with the fantastic game viewing opportunities, the property has a famously sumptuous spa called the Waters of Royal Malewane Bush Spa – book a treatment directly with the property if you would like to try it. 


Day 17: Kruger National Park – Johannesburg

This morning, you will transfer to the airstrip for your flight to Johannesburg to connect with your international departure flight. 


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