Stunning sights, Big Five game safaris, the Garden Route, the Cape Winelands and beautiful Cape Town. Discover extraordinary, surprising, incredibly varied and totally absorbing South Africa on this tremendous value, hugely exciting escorted tour. Encounter the traditions and cultures of an ancient people before discovering some truly awe-inspiring scenery en route to the famous Kruger National Park to search for ‘Big Five’ game. Visit tiny Swaziland and the Zulu War battlegrounds, before flying to friendly Port Elizabeth and the exquisite ‘Garden Route’. The verdant Winelands and the glorious Cape complete an unforgettable holiday.
Experience the colourful traditions of the Lesedi Cultural Village
Visit the Apartheid Museum and Liliesleaf
Discover stunning scenery on the panoramic route including famous God’s Window
Enjoy a full day’s Game Drive in the Kruger National Park
Visit tiny Swaziland
Learn about the battles of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift
Fly from Johannesburg to ‘Friendly City’ Port Elizabeth
Journey on the beautiful Garden Route to Knysna
See the extraordinary Cango Caves and visit an Ostrich Farm
Stay in the heart of the scenic Winelands
Enjoy a wine-tasting tour
Journey through the Cape to enjoy three days in Cape Town
Soak up the views of Cape Town from Table Mountain
Stroll around the stunning Kirstenboch Botanical Gardens
Enjoy the lovely seaside town of Hermanus
Fly south to Johannesburg.
Fly to Johannesburg and upon arrival meet your tour manager and transfer to the Lesedi Cultural Village, for a two-night stay in traditional surroundings – with rooms with modern conveniences – in the heart of the World Heritage Site of the Cradle of Humankind. Enjoy dinner and your first night under the African sky. This evening, enjoy the hospitality of your Lesedi hosts, Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, Basotho and Ndebele tribes-people who will introduce their cultures, show you their homes and demonstrate traditional music and dancing.
The 28-acre Lilliesleaf farmstead served as the headquarters of the African National Congress and Umkhonto we Sizwe (the ‘Spear of the Nation’) until a security police raid in 1963, which led to the trial and imprisonment of the organisations’ leaders, including Nelson Mandela. Visits to the awardwinning site and Johannesburg’s moving Apartheid Museum will provide the historical background to today’s democratic South Africa. Return to Lesedi for a second evening.
Following an early breakfast, bid farewell to Lesedi and journey into Mpumalanga, bordered by the vast Kruger National Park. Upon arrival, enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.
Make sure you take your camera as you head out for a scenic day’s drive on the famous Panorama Route. with sweeping views over the Blyde River Canyon! The tour will take in the Three Rondavels, a trio of rocky outcrops, shaped like a traditional Zulu beehive hut, and God’s Window, named for its sweeping panoramic views of the Lowveld and lush forest-clad ravines below. God’s Window is part of a 160-mile-long network of sheer cliffs that boast wonderful views. When you get there, you’ll see why it’s called God’s Window! Stop for lunch at Graskop (payable locally), then continue to your lodge near Kruger, where you can relax by the pool and enjoy a classic South African sunset.
Begin the day early and drive the 15 minutes to Africa’s oldest wildlife conservation area, home to the world’s greatest concentration of wildlife species in their natural habitat. Enjoy a full-day game drive, with a packed picnic breakfast and the chance to buy lunch at a rest-stop, and from your opentopped vehicle and with luck you might encounter impala, wildebeest, giraffe and zebra, and the ‘Big Five’ of lion, rhino, elephant, leopard and buffalo. Return to your lodge enjoy an evening at leisure.
Today you’ll cross the border into the tiny Kingdom of Swaziland, a former British Protectorate still boasting a colonial feel with traditional heritage, and the friendly, warm Swazi welcome for visitors. En-route, you’ll stop at curio shops and cultural centres, before continuing on into Kwazulu-Natal and an overnight stay at a wonderful hot springs resort. Enjoy a therapeutic soak before dinner.
Join a specialist battlefields guide who will introduce you to the tumultuous history of the Zulu Wars, and to the battlefields of Isandlwana and, most famously, Rorke’s Drift, the latter immortalised in the 1964 movie Zulu. A fascinating day includes lunch, before you head to the hotel in time for dinner.
An early start this morning sees you return to Johannesburg airport and a flight south to bustling, friendly Port Elizabeth’. Upon arrival, meet your tour manager for the next few days and transfer to your overnight hotel. A hugely popular beach-resort, modern ‘P E’ still offers glimpses of Victorian grandeur, with plenty of options should you wish to dine out this evening.
Begin your journey along the famously scenic Garden Route to Mossel Bay, pausing in charming seaside town of Knysna. Take an optional cruise across the lagoon to the Featherbed Nature Reserve, if you wish, or enjoy this vibrant town before continuing to Mossel Bay.
This morning, visit the world-renowned Cango Caves, with their stalactites and stalagmites, formed over millions of years. You’ll then head to Oudtshoorn, the ‘Ostrich Capital of the World’, in the heart of the ‘Little Karoo’ plain. The world’s strangest, largest and often most valuable bird has been farmed here for 130 years, first for its plumage and more recently for its high-protein, low-cholesterol meat. Enjoy a taste at an included lunch, after which you’ll return to Mossel Bay for a second evening.
Bid farewell to Mossel Bay and head along the Garden Route to the Atlantic coast town of Hermanus, a famed whalewatching centre from July to November. Pause at Stony Point for a glimpse of its penguin colony, before heading into the beautiful, verdant Cape Winelands region, for an overnight stay in a hotel overlooking the Stellenbosch mountains.
Enjoy today’s tour of rolling vineyard-covered hills and valleys dotted with villages built in ‘Cape Dutch’, Edwardian and Art-Deco styles. After exploring Stellenbosch, you’ll call at Franschhoek, the culinary capital of the Western Cape. During the tour, enjoy two tastings and the opportunity to purchase some wines, before you make the unforgettable journey across the Western Cape to Cape Town, one of the world’s most beautifully located cities, for a last three-night stay. Enjoy a first evening, perhaps enjoying the delights of the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, with its complex of shops, theatres, bars and restaurants. If weather allows, enjoy an included cable car ride to stunning Table Mountain, alternatively this can be enjoyed on day 14 or 15.
On a last touring day, weather permitting, take the Chapman’s Peak Drive, one of the world’s most thrilling coastal roads, into the Cape Point Peninsula. See treacherous Cape Point, in the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, and after a lunch stop in Simon’s Town, overlooking False Bay, make the journey back into Cape Town and a second evening, where you'll call at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.
Today is free to rest and relax and enjoy the city, perhaps wandering through the historic Bo-Kaap district of Dutch colonial houses, strolling through the horticultural paradise of The Company’s Gardens, catching a catamaran to infamous Robben Island, former ‘home’ to Nelson Mandela, or making an unforgettable ascent of Table Mountain, taking in the panorama from a rotating cable car as it climbs to the summit, with its stupendous views of the city and beyond. Enjoy a last evening in Cape Town.
Make the most of your last day in Cape Town, before transferring this afternoon to the airport and the return overnight flight.
Arrival back in the UK, at the end of a truly wonderful South African experience.
14 nights’ carefully chosen bed and breakfast accommodation, plus two nights on the aircraft
13 included tours and excursions
Two lunches and dinner on five nights
Outbound flight to Johannesburg, an internal flight between Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth, and returning from Cape Town via Johannesburg
Coach travel and transfers throughout
Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
With more than 35 years’ tour-operating experience, Newmarket Holidays can provide escorted tours, river cruises, cruise holidays and resort-based stays that combine superb value for money and the highest standards of customer care. Having won Best Escorted Tours Holiday Company six years running at the British Travels Awards, the company has become one of the largest and most respected independently owned tour operators in the UK.
Newmarket Holidays offers a huge array of escorted tours, short breaks, long explorations and holiday experiences for just about every interest and activity level, with transfers, excursions, carefully chosen accommodation and many entrances included in the price. All holidays also include a friendly and knowledgeable tour manager to help you make the most of your trip and to ensure your holiday operates as smoothly as possible. And although much of your escorted tour is prearranged, you’ll still have plenty of free time to relax and the flexibility to do your own thing.
With Newmarket Holidays, there’s a whole world to explore, from the historic railways of the Isle of Man and the canals of Amsterdam to the exciting city of New York and the magical sight of the Taj Mahal in India. Alternatively, relax and unwind beside the blue waters of Lake Garda, enjoy a guided tour of Poland’s former royal capital or spend a few nights in the heart of Moscow in Russia. Newmarket Holidays has something special for all couples, groups, families and solo travellers, including romantic breaks in Paris, safari adventures in Kenya, Santa experience days in Lapland and rail journeys through the Italian countryside.
There’s also a choice of holiday types and themes, such as small group tours, rail holidays, UK and Ireland short breaks, Christmas markets and cultural experiences, as well as concerts and events. As a company that now focuses on UK, European and Worldwide air holidays, ocean cruises and river cruises, you can even choose how to travel to your chosen destinations. Not forgetting that Newmarket Holidays specialises in included and optional excursions to ensure your escorted tours are memorable from beginning to end.
When you choose an air holiday, you can either tour as many attractions and cultures as you can fit in or base yourself at a quiet resort and take your pick from a collection of excursions and day trips. This means that your holiday can be as adventurous or as relaxing as you wish. If a cruise is your ideal group tour, Newmarket Holidays has departures from nearly every major port in the UK and can take you to places in and around Europe, the Canary Islands, the Baltic Cities, Greenland, the Far East, Australia and Africa. You can also choose from a wide range of European and worldwide river cruises or select a Christmas and New Year river cruise along the Danube, the Rhine or the Seine River.
From the moment you book an escorted tour, resort-based stay or cruise holiday, you can have peace of mind that your money is safe because Newmarket Holidays is a member of ABTA and is licensed by ATOL. Also, the company has a 4.5 out of 5 customer rating, which is a testament to the quality of the escorted tours and the outstanding customer care provided by the team. But that’s not all. As Newmarket Holidays is all about offering the best value for money holidays, this competitive tour operator promises to price match any like-for-like escorted tour found cheaper elsewhere.
Please note: After many years of operation, Newmarket Holidays has decided to discontinue the UK and European coach breaks and tours departing from local pick-ups in the UK (as of 2019) to concentrate on its range of UK, European and Worldwide air holidays, ocean cruises and river cruises.