South Africa’s Unique Lodges
Price starts at $1050 Land per person, per day, double occupancy.
Day 1: Johannesburg, South Africa / Sabi Sands Game Reserve
Morning arrival in Johannesburg, look out for our representative. They will be holding a name-board with your surname on it. They will meet you and transfer you to the Federal Air terminal where you check-in for your onward charter flight to the reserve, about an hour and a half trip. Please note that the 44lbs luggage allowance will be strictly enforced. Your luggage needs to be in soft bags so that it can be stored in the base or back of the plane. On arrival at the game reserve, you are met and transferred by 4×4 open vehicle to your private game lodge. This is an exclusive lodge with 12 suites as well as the Amber Suite. Each suite is attended by a private butler and is appointed with specially commissioned furnishings, a secluded plunge pool and terrace as well as open air shower. The natural wood sculptures of Geoffrey Armstrong add a powerful magic. Facilities include air-conditioning, ceiling fans, dressing area, minibars, telephone and tea/coffee facilities. The suites are complemented by a swimming pool, the Earth Nature Spa, the underground wine cellar (perfect for private dinners), secluded library and a private art gallery. The Earth Nature Spa and exercise center offers massages, natural therapies or a classic spa. The boma, its walls made from roots and built up piece by piece, captures the drama of an African night. However Earth Lodge also arranges private dinners in special locations for honeymooners or romantics of any age. The 65,000 ha Sabi Sands is considered to have some of the best Big Five game-viewing in the country with an open border with the Kruger so animals move freely in and out. Due to a long history of sensitive game-viewing, the animals are mostly relaxed allowing superb game-viewing, especially of leopard. So diverse is its habitat and wildlife that you have an excellent chance of experiencing close encounters with the ‘Big 5’ – elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard – as well as many species of antelope, several dog-like species including spotted hyena and cape hunting dog, jackal, and a variety of smaller mammals. Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge – Suite (B,L,D)
Days 2/3: Sabi Sands Game Reserve
You enjoy game drives in open-vehicle game drives with an experienced ranger and a local Shangaan tracker who work together to give you a deeper understanding of the wildlife and the natural cycles of the bush. Drives are in the early morning and late afternoon when game is most likely to be active. Tracking Africa’s big game, the evening safari departs after afternoon tea. After enjoying the bush sunset, the evening holds a sense of anticipation as the rare and elusive nocturnal species begin to hunt. The evening meal is often enjoyed in a ‘boma’ or even in the bush around an open fire, which many guests feel is a particularly evocative treat. Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge – Suite (B,L,D)
Day 4: Sabi Sands Game Reserve / Gansbaai
This morning you return to the airstrip for your air charter flight from Sabi Sands, departing between 11:00am -11:30am to arrive at OR Tambo (Johannesburg) Airport. The charter flight will take approx. 1 hour 30 minutes. On arrival at the Federal air hangar you will be met and transferred to the Domestic Air Terminal at the airport from where you board your scheduled flight to Cape Town. On arrival in Cape Town will be met by our representative and transferred by road from Cape Town to your country lodge. In Cape Town airport, look out for our representative, who will transfer you to your lodge, approx. 1¾ hours. Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is located amidst the unique and spectacular fynbos plant kingdom and ancient dunes of the Southern Coast. This award-winning gem overlooks Walker Bay, and is a nature-lovers paradise with inclusive activities: guided fynbos 4×4 drives, milk wood forest walks, horse riding, beach picnics and guided land-based whale-watching as well as the optional activities of boat-based whale watching and shark cage diving. A dedicated team including marine biologists and conservationists help you to appreciate what makes this area so special.
Grootbos consists of two lodges, the family-friendly Garden Lodge with one and two bedroom suites, and the new contemporary Forest Lodge. Grootbos Garden Lodge is a thatched stone homestead perched on the hillside surrounded by a lush indigenous fynbos garden. Fashioned from stone and thatch, Grootbos Garden Lodge reflects African warmth and hospitality. Outside is a terrace with swimming pool overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Grootbos Garden Lodge and the 11 free-standing suites enjoy sweeping views over the fynbos-clad mountains. There’s a choice of two bedroom and one bedroom luxury suites and one bedroom classic suites. The Forest Lodge boats 16 freestanding luxury suites carefully embedded in the ancient Milkwood forest, accessed via an enchanted cobbled pathway beneath the forest canopy. Each suite is stylishly furnished to provide an exquisite blend of aesthetic beauty and supreme comfort. Cosy fireplaces, luxurious canopy beds and spacious bathrooms make this the ultimate romantic getaway. Large glass doors flood the space with natural light and open out onto spacious wooden decks perched over the forest canopy. The cozy restaurant has a central fireplace and bar. High beamed ceilings and endless windows enhance the incredible sensation of light and freedom. Additional facilities include a spacious lounge, beauty salon, library, Internet access and an entertainment room. There’s also a telescope for whale-watching. Each of the luxury suites features romantic canopy beds, separate lounge with fireplace, full bathroom, private wooden decks with panoramic sea or mountain views, filter coffee machines, minibar and underfloor heating. The Classic suites are slightly smaller with a sitting area rather than a separate lounge and a shower room. Grootbos Forest or Garden Lodge – One Bedroom Luxury Suite, (B,L,D)
Days 5/6: Gansbaai
Spend these days exploring this special ecosystem and enjoying the daily activities at your lodge.. The southern coast boasts some of the finest land-based whale-watching in the world with sightings of Southern Right Whales, which come right into the bays to give birth, possible between July and December but normally peaking in August and September, when the Southern Right Whales come right into the bays to give birth. Enthralling sightings are a daily occurrence with spectacular breaches and whale song. The cosmopolitan fishing village and resort of Hermanus offers all year round charm and stunning coastal scenery. Secluded sandy beaches are backed by velvety mountains covered with exceptional fynbos vegetation. The wild flowers are particularly enchanting and walking trails follow the coast – ideal for whale-watching – or take you into the mountains. The more adventurous can even experience cage diving amongst the sharks at Gansbaai. More relaxing pursuits would be exploring the numerous arts and craft shops in Hermanus and enjoying the panoramic views of Walker Bay whilst dining alfresco. A visit to Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa and nearby Arniston are also possibilities. Other excursions (at extra cost) include guided wine tours around the excellent Hermanus wine estates, aerial flights over the ocean and visits to their community garden project to see sustainable tourism in action. Grootbos Forest or Garden Lodge – One Bedroom Luxury Suite (B,L,D)
Day 7: Gansbaai / Cape Town / Kalahari Game Reserve
Today you are collected from your lodge in the Gansbaai area and transferred back to Cape Town Airport’s Signature Private Hangar where you board your charter flight (seat in plane) to Tswalu. (Luggage allowance is strictly 27 lbs. per person in soft bags plus 13lbs of hand luggage.)
Tswalu Kalahari Game Reserve in the Kalahari grasslands of the Northern Cape is the largest private game reserve in South Africa and the historical home of the Bushmen (San) people. The emphasis here is on exclusivity, which is why the entire reserve can accommodate no more than 30 people at a time. This spectacular malaria-free reserve offers a wealth of experiences – explore Tswalu by 4×4, on horseback or on foot. There’s a sense of contentment that comes from being surrounded by so much space, the colors and textures, the myriad sounds and vast silences of the wilderness. You’re sharing the environment with springbok, buffalo, lion, kudu, Bat-eared fox, hyena, meerkat and aardwolf. (Wildebeest, cheetah, the majestic Roan and Sable Antelope can also be seen.) Bush walks focus on the local vegetation, bush medicines, cosmetics and hunting skills of the San people, whilst sundowners on the lantern-lit dunes or bush dining at Lekgaba Lookout completes the experience. Other activities include star-gazing, visiting rock paintings, Moffat Mission and the Kuruman eye or focusing on the wild colonies of Meerkats. Your lodge offers eight luxuriously appointed ‘legae’ (suites) including two family suites. The curved stone and sand walls are enclosed by thatched roof, providing shade and sculptural beauty. Each overlooks a waterhole and has a private lounge, open fireplace, private sun deck, outside shower, telephone and minibar. Guests looking for privacy that extends even further, should consider staying in Tarkuni. This separate, freestanding African dwelling is ideal for a small party or family. Tarkuni is the ultimate in luxury game reserve accommodation with its unparalleled exclusivity and personal service. Tarkuni’s surroundings are elegantly simple with a luxury swimming pool opening to the remarkable scene of animals drinking at a nearby watering hole. The staff at Tswalu try to do everything possible to make sure not only mum and dad have a wonderful stay but that the children remember it as their best holiday ever. Special touches include a kiddies menu, special mealtimes for children, children’s game drive (if there are more than four children at the lodge), visiting the stables or going horse-riding, stopping so the children can play in the sand or even roll down a sand dune. Older children can try their hand at archery or target shooting. Tswalu Kalahari – Motse Suite (B,L,D)
Days 8-10: Kalahari Game Reserve
You enjoy the daily activities on offer at your lodge. This spectacular malaria-free reserve offers a wealth of experiences – explore Tswalu by 4×4, on horseback or on foot. There’s a sense of contentment that comes from being surrounded by so much space, the colors and textures, the myriad sounds and vast silences of the wilderness. You’re sharing the environment with springbok, buffalo, lion, kudu, Bat-eared fox, hyena, meerkat and aardwolf. (Wildebeest, cheetah, the majestic Roan and Sable Antelope can also be seen.) Bush walks focus on the local vegetation, bush medicines, cosmetics and hunting skills of the San people, whilst sundowners on the lantern-lit dunes or bush dining at Lekgaba Lookout completes the experience. Other activities include star-gazing, visiting rock paintings, Moffat Mission and the Kuruman eye or focusing on the wild colonies of Meerkats. Tswalu Kalahari – Motse Suite (B,L,D)
Day 11: Kalahari Game Reserve / Johannesburg / Depart
Today you are transferred back to the airstrip for your light charter flight to Johannesburg Airport. (Luggage allowance is strictly 27 lbs. per person in soft bags plus 13lbs as hand luggage.) On arrival at the Fireblade Aviation private hangar, you are met and transferred to the main OR Tambo Airport terminal where you connect with your onward flight home later this evening. (B)
Land price, per person, double occupancy: From $1050. Internal air $300.