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Posts Tagged ‘South Africa’

Adventures in Africa

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Africa Awaits

Exotic Birds and Unique Flora

Exotic Birds and Unique Flora

Africa is truly like no other place in the world. The African continent is far larger than most people imagine. Its size combined exceeds the United States, China, India, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Eastern Europe, the United Kingdom, Japan and a handful of other countries. It is far more diverse than North and South America, Australia, Asia, and Europe.

 

No Two Countries are the Same

Northern Africa is heavily influenced by the Middle East, which is evident in the culinary dishes, religion and politics. Western Africa is filled with an array of history, including painful reminders of European colonization, particularly the slave trade. Eastern Africa offers some of the best wildlife viewing in the world, along with wonderful beaches unknown to most Americans. Southern Africa is home to several UNESCO World Heritage sites, amazing safari game viewing, archaeological sites including the beginning of humankind, and cosmopolitan cuisine and award-winning wine from world-class cities.

In this five-part series on experiencing Africa, we will share with you why Africa delivers unbelievably beautiful, pristine and awe-inspiring vacation destinations.

 

Tanzania
Parade of Elephant

Parade of Elephant

Home to some of the most amazing natural wonders on the African continent, a visit to Tanzania is an unforgettable journey. It surely will be among the remarkable experiences you’ll ever have.

Mount Kilimanjaro

  • The snow-capped peaks of Mt Kilimanjaro are a sight to behold. It is Africa’s highest mountain. Ascending from the grassy, lush plains, its elevation exceeds 19,300 feet. For those brave enough to attempt a climb, they will travel through five different climatic zones during the 5- to 9-day trip. You might want to start planning because due to the influence of global warming, the ice may be extinct within 20 years.

Ngorongoro Crater

  • It is the world’s largest intact caldera. A geological wonder dating back nearly 3,000,000 years, it is home to a vast array of wildlife. Nearly 25,000 large mammals reside here including black-maned lions, cheetahs, leopards, flamingos, giant-tusked elephants, and a dwindling number of highly endangered black rhinos.

    Great Migration Plains

    Plains of The Great Migration

Serengeti National Park

  • The Serengeti region is most famous for The Great Migration. This is the annual occasion where hundreds of thousands of zebra, wildebeest, and other herbivores cross the plains and rivers, risking their lives as they try to avoid encounters with lions, crocodiles and other natural predators. The ecosystem here is one of the earth’s oldest and has nearly unchanged fauna, vegetation, and climate.

 

South Africa

Most people are familiar with South Africa because of its two Nobel Prize recipients Bishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela. With the dismantling of the oppressive apartheid system, this “Rainbow Nation” has quickly become a top travel destination. South Africa truly has it all. See why South Africa has been voted as a Bucket List vacation.

Three World-class Cities:

Johannesburg, dubbed the “City of Gold”, Joburg is the economic heartbeat of the African continent. It is also a great city for those with an interest in the arts and history.

Apartheid Museum

The Apartheid Museum, an Emotional Journey

Cultural opportunities include:

  • Journey to FreedomSoweto or South Western Township was command central for much of the apartheid struggle. Historic landmarks include Regina Mundi Church, a popular underground meeting place; Hector Pieterson Museum and Mandela House. Vilakazi Street is the only street in the world that can lay claim to being the former home of two Nobel Prize winners.
  • Museums Abound – The top choices include the Apartheid Museum, the Museum of Africa, the National Railway & Steam Museum, and the South African Museum of Military History
  • Art – Rosebank Rooftop Craft Market has over 600 clothing, craft, art and ceramic stalls with handmade African items.

 

Durban, with a tongue-in-cheek nickname “Durban the Turban”, is home to the greatest population of Indians outside of India.

  • Walking along the beachfront try to spot dolphins just offshore in the Indian Ocean or experience a rickshaw ride in Victoria Park.
  • Take in a slice of history in Shakaland, with authentic re-creations of the life and times of Shaka, the King of the Zulu tribe.
  • Enjoy authentic crafts, fabric and authentic cuisine at the Victoria Market.

 

Cape Town is referred to as the Mother City since it is South Africa’s oldest. It is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with both unique beaches and splendid mountains.

  • Walk to Freedom – Her rich history includes Robben Island, the isolated home for political prisoners including Nelson Mandela; The District Six Museum; Langa, the oldest apartheid housing system and the Gold Museum.
  • Sightseeing abounds with visits to:
    • The V & A Waterfront, is a shopping and dining district set along a working harbor. You can purchase locally made beads and other arts and crafts at the Green Market Square, a short world from the V&A.
    • Table Mountain offers panoramic views of the entire city. It can be accessed via the world’s largest, rotating cable car or by strenuous hike for the adventure seeker.

      Baboons at the Cape of Good Horn

      Baboons at the Cape of Good Hope

    • Cape Point is the southwestern-most point on the continent. It’s also home to the Cape Floral Kingdom, a UNESCO World Heritage site that boasts more than 20% of Africa’s flora and comprises eight protected areas. Baboons still roam wild here.
    • Watching the colony of endangered African penguins at Boulders Beach will bring out the kid in everyone.
    • Chapman’s Peak is a 6-mile, picturesque drive that rivals California’s Big Sur.
  • Safari Game Drive & Wildlife Viewing
    • Searching for the Big-5

      Searching for the Big 5 on a Game Drive

      Kruger National Park – Enjoy outstanding wildlife viewing in the world’s oldest national park, as well as in the surrounding private, luxury game lodges.

    • Pilanesberg National Park – Located in a 1.2 billion-year-old extinct volcanic crater, it houses an extensive wildlife population including more than 300 bird species.
    • KwaZulu-Natal Province – Home of the popular walking safari, the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve gained recognition for its conservation efforts in saving the white rhino from extinction.
    • Addo Elephant National Park – With prime-viewing opportunities for its 300 elephants, it’s also a great place for bird watchers to try and spot some of the 180 species.
  • Gourmet Food & Wine
    Cape Winelands are Surrounded by Mountains

    The Cape Winelands are Surrounded by Mountains

    • Evenings rich with mouthwatering cuisine and fine wine are abundant in this cosmopolitan city. Guided and self-drive tours of the Cape Winelands’ 13 wine routes are popular ways to experience the up-and-coming wine regions. Located within an hour’s drive of Cape Town are the most famous, Stellenbosch, Constantia, Franschhoek and Paarl. Better yet, stay in one of the well appointed B&B’s, hotels or inns with breathtaking mountain and vineyard vistas.

Return to TheTravelGospel.com for our five-part series. We’ll share more information on must-see points of interest and must-do attractions on the amazing African continent.

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Discover South African Wine

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South African Wine

Cape Dutch Architecture

Unique Cape Dutch Architecture

During the past 10 years, South African wines have gained a bit of shelf space in the wine shop. But, for the majority of American wine drinkers this country remains off the wine-drinking radar screen. That is a huge mistake because South African wine vintners produce some of the most value-driven, yet eminent wines in the world.

Storied History

South Africa is considered a New World wine region. However, European immigrants planted the first wine grapes back in 1652, launching a popular wine culture, especially in England and France. But as luck would have it, war, the opening of the Suez Canal and the presence of phylloxera led to an equally grand fall. Twenty years ago with the dismantling of Apartheid, major investments in the wine industry have spurred a reemergence.

Cape Winelands Surrounded by Mountains

Cape Winelands Surrounded by Mountains

The Cape Winelands region has many favorable conditions present for growing quality vines. With an accommodatingly warm Mediterranean climate, rich top- and sub soils, and adequate winter rainfall, this emerging nation has quickly regained a reputation for producing award-winning wines. It is also strikingly beautiful with Cape-Dutch architecture and picturesque wine estates set against mountainous backgrounds.

 

Popular Wine Regions

The more esteemed wine regions include the following:

Constantia Valley – Located a short 20-minute drive from Cape Town, this area is the birthplace of South African wine. Constantia, a same-named sweet Muscat wine was extremely popular among the English and French aristocracy. Today, Sauvignon Blanc, a cool-climate grape benefits from nearby ocean breezes off the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Stellenbosch – With more than 150 wine estates and grape producers, this region is the most popular with tourists, as well as locals.The short drive from Cape Town makes it an easy weekend getaway destination. The hilly terrain, compliments of the nearby Simonsberg, Drakenstein and Stellenbosch Mountains provides favorable soil conditions for growing world-class wines.

The University of Stellenbosch is the equivalent of University of California, Davis for viticulture and oenology studies.

Lunch at Moreson Wines in Franschhoek

Lunch at Moreson Wines in Franschhoek

Franschhoek – Famed for its amazing scenery and an outstanding culinary scene, the “French Corner” also produces some world-renown wines. About an hour’s drive from Cape Town, the valley produces international varieties such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, as well as Semillion and Shiraz.

Paarl – If you enjoy fortified wines and spirits, (who doesn’t?), this is your ‘hood. Situated in the Berg River Valley, many of the wine farms also make cheese and grow olives.

 

Take a Sip

One of my goals for 2015 is to “drink outside the box”. Instead of reaching for my tried-and-true favorites, I have started drinking wines made from lesser-known grapes. The wines of South Africa certainly fit into this category. Also, I plan to drink popular varieties from atypical regions. Instead of pouring a Russian River Pinot Noir, why not give one a try from South Africa?  With a climate similar to parts of Sonoma County and rejuvenated winemakers, expect some pretty tasty juice.

Approximately 55% of wine production in the country is dedicated to white grapes including less-familiar wines such as Colombard, Hanepoot (aka Muscat of Alexandria) and Cape Riesling. Steen, the local name for Chenin Blanc is the most popular white wine. It is one of my favorite styles.

Pinotage South Africa's Indigenous Grape

Pinotage South Africa’s Indigenous Grape

A truly unique red wine grape is the indigenous Pinotage. The grape was invented by a University of Stellenbosch professor as a cross between Cinsaut and Pinot Noir. This is a wine you will either hate or tolerate; but very few people love it. However, you should taste for yourself.

Here are a few Pinotage suggestions to sample:

  • 2011 Fleur du Cap $12
  • 2011 Neil Ellis $18
  • 2011 Fairview Primo $28

Since South Africa is a southern hemisphere country, all vintages are six months older than wines bottled in the United States.

South Africa exports about 50% of its wine production. The United States markets have started to receive a larger allotment of these shipments. You’ll have to talk to your wine shop owner to help you locate most bottles. As yet, demand hasn’t risen to the point where you’ll find bottle after bottle sitting on shelves. However, when you come across a South African import, my advise is you should reach for a bottle because you will not be disappointed.

 

My Picks
Quality, Value-packed South African Wine

Quality, Value-packed South African Wine

Here are some other fine, reasonably price South African wines I think you may enjoy:

Whites

  • 2012 Graham Beck “Bowed Head’ Chenin Blanc $12 – Dried apricots, tree-ripened peaches, lovely long finish
  • 2013 De Wetshof “Bon Vallon”Chardonnay – Floral notes followed by stone fruit and Bosch pear flavors

Reds

  • 2012 Rust en Vrede Merlot $18 – Chocolate nose,  raspberry and black cherry flavors with a rich, raisin-like finish
  • 2010 Painted Wolf Guillermo Pinotage $19 – Soft blueberry and blackberry flavors
  • 2011 Starke-Conde Cabernet Sauvignon $24 – Dark cherry, blackberry with a lengthy finish
  • 2008 Meerlust Rudicon $27 – Earthy followed by berry flavors and Thanksgiving spices
  • 2012 Boekenhoutskloof Chocolate Block $32 – You may confuse it with with a like a northern Rhône Syrah with a chef’s heavy-hand of black pepper, coriander, nutmeg and juicy red fruits
  • 2011 Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir $40 – Hibiscus tea floral notes, typical strawberry & strawberry flavors along with surprising savory spice notes

 

Let me know your take on any of these picks.

Cheers!

 

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Tourism Changes Lives

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Cape Town's Iconic Table Mountain

Table Mountain in Cape Town

South African Tourism 

Due to the injustices from decades of Apartheid, many indigenous Africans are financially disadvantaged. In an effort to help right some of these wrongs, trust and initiatives have been instituted for various industries, including the wine industry.

Currently, there are approximately 160,000 individuals from socio-economically disadvantaged communities who are employed within the industry.  With each visit, additional employment opportunities open up.

 

African Winemakers

On my first visit to South Africa in 2004, I met a young man from one of the townships who was working toward a career as a winemaker. Today, around a dozen Africans, whose families suffered under Apartheid have risen to the role of winemaker.  Although that number is still quite small, it is a prime example of how tourism brings hope and changes lives. Tourism is an integral part of the South African economy, creating one in twelve jobs.

 

First African Female Winemaker

First African Female Winemaker

In the late 1990s, Ntsiki Biyela, from KwaZulu Natal enrolled in the University of Stellenbosch’s oenology program. Her road to becoming a winemaker was atypical and quite difficult. All of our classmates were white and classes were taught in Afrikaans,  the language of her oppressors. However, Ms. Biyela, a proud Zulu persevered. Upon graduation, she joined the staff at boutique wine producer Stellekaya, becoming the country’s first African female winemaker. Shortly thereafter, she was named Female Winemaker of the Year.

Stellekaya, located in the heart of the Cape Winelands produces seven red wines, many with a blend that includes Merlot. Stellekaya sources grapes from local producers. When the grapes arrive at the winery, Ms. Biyela has them undergo a cold maceration process designed to capture the fruit flavors. She then uses a traditional punch down method followed by a wooden basket press. After fermentation, the wine is aged in 100% French oak barrels.  You should taste the award-winning results for yourself.

South Africa dons many travelers’ Bucket Lists.  This is hardly surprising given its ideal climate, friendly people, great exchange rate to the US Dollar, awesome food scene, quality wines and beautiful wine regions.

When you visit Stellenbosch, (I suggest you do) stop in at the Stellekaya winery and see firsthand how your tourism dollars have helped lift this country. Then, head to dinner at Aubergine with its cosmopolitan menu and dazzling wine list. But that’s a discussion for another post.

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Boulders Beach

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Stop here to see the African Penguins at Play

Stop at Boulders Beach & see the African Penguins at Play

Boulders Beach near Cape Town

Boulders Beach, home of the South African Penguin is one of the more popular attractions while vacationing in Cape Town. Visitors, including myself are surprised to learn that penguins have established a natural habitat in an African nation, just outside of Simon’s Town.

Back in 1983, locals were also surprised to see two penguins walking along Boulder’s Beach.  Within a year, those two love birds had an egg.  Since then, the population has grown to more than 2,300. A similar colony of penguins has made their home on Robben Island.

South African Penguin Sitting on its Egg

South African Penguin Sitting on its Egg

 

Penguins play at Boulders Beach

Penguins play behind Stephanie at Boulders Beach

Boulder’s Beach is aptly named.  Giant boulders cover the beach.  The huge rocks  have been rounded by the pounding of the ocean’s waves.

Penguins frequently swim and play within a few feet of humans. It’s the only place in the world where you can swim among the penguins. A warning to the overly curious: Although the penguins are not afraid of humans, you should not intrude too much into their territory because their teeth are quite sharp.

South African Penguin Braying

South African Penguin Braying

The birds were originally given the name Jackass Penguin, because of the donkey-like bray sound like make. However, a species of penguins in South America had been given this name prior, so the name was dropped and replaced with South African Penguin. Both species have fewer feathers than the “March of the Penguins” colonies living in Antarctica. Also, the identifying mark of the African Penguin is a black, half-circle across its chests.

I love penguins so seeing them in the wild was quite a thrill. The colony has become part of Table Mountain National Park, which has enclosed the breeding grounds so the birds are not disturbed. However, you can still get quite close to them by using one of the three boardwalks and a perfectly situated viewing platform.  I walked out to the beach where I saw a group playing on the boulders and wading out into the ocean. I could have watched them for hours.

Boulders Beach

Boulders Beach Entry

The park entry hours vary depending on the season. FYI, since South Africa is in the southern hemisphere, its Summer is our Winter and its Spring is our Fall. So when you arrive in Cape Town, ask your hotel concierge for the park hours, if you are driving yourself. However, most tour operators and travel agents include a stop at Boulder’s Beach as part of their Cape Peninsula Tour.

 

 

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Journey To Freedom

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 Breaking Free from Apartheid

Johannesburg South Africa

Johannesburg, South Africa

The Journey to Freedom is a historical tour. It’ll take you to the places and introduces you to some of the people who brought South Africa out of the Apartheid era and into a shining illustration of what the promise of a truly democratic society can become.

The Johannesburg tour begins in Soweto. Soweto, an acronym for South West Township, was a birthplace of the turbulent, anti-Apartheid movement.  More than 2 million still call this impoverished neighborhood home.  Driving through the township and seeing how the locals live will make a grown man cry. It’s absolutely inconceivable.  Denied employment and cast aside by the government, residents were forced to make due.

Soweto Township

Life in Soweto

A startling example can be seen in the construction of homes.  Most have been built using anything the people could get their hands on.  The four walls and roof of these “homes” are made with tin, plywood, planks, concrete blocks and a host of other materials.  It’s amazing that they stand upright. It is an unforgettable sight but one that is needed to capture the essence of township life.

Bullets

You’ll go to the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum, which stands near the site of a protest march that turned violent.  Students took to the streets to protest the announcement by the government, requiring all non-white, secondary school-age children to study Afrikaans, the language of the white ruling party.

The students were continuing on to the soccer stadium when the police arrived and then all hell broke loose. Police fired on the children.  As word spread of the encounter, uprisings ocurred throughout South Africa, which further enraged the police.  When it was all over, 550 people had been killed.  One of those was Pieterson, a young student.

During this oppressive era, the white-ruling government forbid Black and colored residents from holding meetings. Non-whites were prohibited from forming political parties, also.  As a result, secret meetings took place throughout the township including at Regina Mundi Church, a stop on the tour.  The tour also has an optional stop at Mandela House, a small museum.

Apartheid Museum

Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg

The full-day tour includes a visit to the Apartheid Museum.  Another stark reminder of the cruelty of this era.  Upon entering, visitors choose to be a member of either the white or Black race and participate throughout the tour in this fashion.  The museum is a moving, multimedia experience.  There are snippets of documentary films, sound clips, as well as live accounts, recapturing life in the ugly days of South African Apartheid.

 

I really love this tour.  It provides up-close-and-personal accounts of life as Black or “Coloured” South Africans.  You’ll learn how the Black, colored and white working class were all betrayed by the government and the mining conglomerates.  These actions were a critical turning point in race relations in South Africa, and ultimately led to the creation of the Apartheid system.  It also does an amazing job of portraying the integral role white South Africans played in putting an end to this dark era.

 

South Africa Flag

Flag of Democratic Republic of South Africa

For anyone who was active in Anti-Apartheid rallies or simply loves history, this is an amazing tour.

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Robben Island

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Robben Island – A Glimpse into Apartheid

Entrance to  Robben Island

Entrance to Robben Island

If you are planning a trip to Cape Town, South Africa for either business or pleasure, a tour of Robben Island is a must see. Robben Island gained notoriety as the brutal prison that housed political prisoners who were Freedom Fighters seeking an anti-Apartheid government throughout South Africa. It ceased being a prison in 1996 and earned spots as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as a South African National Heritage Site. Robben Island’s most-famous prisoner, Nelson Mandela, was held there for 18 of his 27 years of imprisonment.

I visited Robben Island on my first trip to South Africa. Make no mistake. This is not a trip to Disneyland. At times, the tour was emotionally draining. But what helps make this tour so authentic are the guides, all of whom are former political prisoner from the Apartheid era. Their stories are absolutely heart-wrenching. Our guide, like former South African President Kgalema Motlanthe, was held at Robben Island for 10 years.

The tour of Robben Island took us throughout the prison as well as onto the grounds. I believe it was Winston Churchill who first was credited with saying “History is written by the Victors.” Labeled as “terrorists” by the oppressive South African government, the men were not allowed to have any degree of self-worth. By definition, prison is not supposed to be a vacation paradise.  However, as I progressed through the tour, seeing everything from the cells to the shower room, I can describe the conditions in one word, medieval.

Robben Island

Limestone Quarry at Robben Island

One of the more moving stories shared by our guide was his description of how he and his fellow prisoners would have to pound, by hand huge limestone boulders until they became dust. After pulverizing the boulders in one section of the prison, the guards would move the prisoners to another area where they’d resume this laborious task. Mandela was quoted as saying his eyesight was permanently damaged as a result of the reflection from the stark-white limestone boulders and the bright South Africa sun.

Setting aside the physical aspect of hard labor, can you image how mindless this activity would be day after long day? I just broke down crying as the guard described his experience with this form of punishment . In fact, I’m tearing up now recalling that day. I just don’t understand how humans can be so cruel to other humans. But then, that is why it’s inconceivable and why it should be a top priority on your “must-do while in Cape Town” list.  Never allow this to happen again!

At the end of the tour, we were given some free time to wander around the island or stop in at the gift shop. I took the opportunity to have a one-on-one talk with our guide. I asked him how he was able to get through each day without being angry, bitter and even violent. How was he able to come here every day to work in a place with such harsh memories? I told him that I was mad just seeing this place of brutality. He calmly said, “We’ve had some counseling. But in the end, you have to forgive.” Okay that did it. More waterworks.

One fun highlight of the tour was sighting the African Penguin walking around the grounds in their natural habitat. Robben Island is the third-largest colony for this species, which may sometimes be referred to as the Jack-ass Penguin due to its donkey-like bray.

South African Penguin Sitting on its Egg

South African Penguin Sitting on its Egg

Tours leave four times a day from the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront via ferry and take about 30 minutes.  This three-and-a-half-hour tour is time well-spent.

 

 

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Girlfriend Getaway

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Luxurious Girlfriend Getaway in South Africa

From $5,399 including fuel surcharges and taxes

Begin your luxurious vacation extravaganza at the posh Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa in glorious Cape Town where earth, sea and sky meet.  Poised above the Atlantic waves and flanked by majestic Table Mountain and her Twelve Apostles Mountain Range, the intimate 5-star hotel captures you with its deluxe guest rooms and spacious suites, as well as breathtaking gardens and two ocean-view pools.

Continue with shopping at Access Park, famous for its 50-plus factory shops and Canal Walk.  It’s hailed as one of the biggest shopping centers in the Southern Hemisphere.  Enjoy “Streetwires” a South African tradition of beading and wire art.  In this interactive workshop,  you will produce and keep three items, and then finish the afternoon with high-tea at the famed Mount Nelson Hotel.

Stroll through the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens with over 3,500 species of Flora and Fauna on a half-day tour.  Then escape to the Auberge du Quartier Francais a small, privately owned inn situated in the French Huguenot Valley of Franschhoek.  This charming inn provides high-end luxury with serene gardens surrounded by the stunning Cape Winelands.

Get pampered! During your two-night stay at Quartier Francais, you’ll spend an afternoon being spoiled at the Zevenwacht Farm near Stellenbosch where the therapists of the Mangwanani Spa have a host of relaxing massage choices for you including their African Revitalization Package.

As though this exquisite vacation getaway wasn’t enough, conclude your well-deserved retreat at the Jackalberry Lodge in Thornybush Private Game Reserve.  Adjoining the Greater Kruger National Park, Thornybush has one of the world’s premier “Big Five” game viewing areas. Experience game drives in open-safari vehicles with highly trained rangers and trackers.   Enjoy the exciting opportunity to see Africa’s “Big Five” up close and personal.

This vacation escape includes:

·  International Airfare from Washington or New York to Cape Town via Johannesburg

·  Domestic flights as indicated in itinerary

·  All services as specified

·  8 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 2 Dinners

·  High tea

·  4 Game drives

·  5-star accommodation in standard rooms

·  Transportation in luxury air-conditioned vehicles with qualified drivers

·  Sightseeing as per itinerary led by experienced, English-speaking guides

·  African Revitalization Package at Mangwanani Spa

·  Entrance fees for sightseeing as indicated

Call us today and we’ll help you plan the girlfriend getaway you’re always dreamed of.


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Food & Wine Vacation in South Africa

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Culinary Vacation for the Food &Wine Enthusiast

from $6,125 with many extras included

This incredible package includes 2 nights at the luxurious One & Only Hotel with its 5,000 bottle, tri-level wine loft and Michelin-starred chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa, 1 night at the Grande Roche with its award-winning cuisine, 2 nights at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve and 2 nights at Lion Sands Private Game Lodge plus more…

Includes:

  • Round trip coach air on South African Airways from New York (JFK) or Washington (IAD) Airport to South Africa OR Tambo International Airport
  • Domestic coach air in South Africa as per the itinerary (Johannesburg – Cape Town – Nelspruit – Johannesburg)
  • Accommodation as per the itinerary
  • Most meals (7 x breakfast, 6 x lunch, 7 x dinner)
  • Ground Transfers
  • All park fees and safari activities
  • Cape Peninsula Tour
  • Winelands Tour

Satisfy your food, wine and adventure passions with this amazing South African vacation extravaganza. For dates and a detailed itinerary, give us a call or send us an email with your contact information.  We’ll be happy to discuss this extraordinary gourmet lovers’ vacation with you.

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Cape Town Whales and Wine

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Starting from $2,399 including taxes, fuel surcharges and Sept. 11th fee*

There is NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT CHARGE on this amazing vacation!

Begin your African adventure in Cape Town, the Mother City.  From your base at The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel, you may venture out to the Constantia region, home of the first vineyards in South Africa.  There will be plenty of leisure time for you to explore the history and culture of Cape Town from her natural attributes to her historical sites.    In the evenings, you may enjoy the award-winning culinary offerings from the onsite, South Africa Restaurant of the Year, The Greenhouse, or stroll along the world-renown Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, for additional dining options or shopping.

Whale in HermanusMarvel at the magnificent whales from your room at The Marine, the 5-star Relais & Chateaux Hotel set high atop the cliffs.  Spectacular views are yours from one of the best land-based observation posts in the world.  

This vacation of natural wonders includes:

  • International flights: New York or Washington, DC to Johannesburg
  • Domestic flights: Johannesburg/Cape Town/Johannesburg
  • Accommodations as specified
  • Traditional Dinner – Cape Malay Experience a unique and authentic cuisine of the Western Cape, dating bak to the 17th century (excluding beverages)
  • Wine CellarPicnic lunch at a local wine farm within the Hermanus area 
  • A bottle of South African wine
  • Singles pay same individual price as doubles/couples – no single supplement

* Pricing for the following dates:

May and Sept 2012

Additional travel dates:

  • April and Aug. 11-31, 2012 (from $2,699)
  • June, July and Aug 1-10, 2012 (from $2,999)

Excludes:

  • Costs of obtaining a passport, gratuities, travel insurance, items of a personal nature and other services not mentioned

Restrictions apply.

Call or email us for details on this amazing vacation.

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Cape Town Gay Pride 2012

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Join the party in Cape Town, South Africa starting Feb. 24th to March 4th.

This cosmopolitan city has plenty of  gay-friendly accommodations, restaurants, and bars.

Gay Pride in Cape Town

Cape Town is the epicenter of Gay living for all of Africa. South Africa became the first  African nation to legalize gay marriage in 2006.  Let yourself be free! Enjoy the film screenings, workshops, pool parties, a Mr. and Mrs. Pride Cape Town Pride pageant, and beach scene during this year’s festivities. Closing day culminates with main event at Cape Town Pride Parade. This experience can also include a trip out to wine country or  game drive safari.

Don’t miss out on this amazing package.  Book your Gay Pride vacation to South Africa with us now!

Packages start at $2,999 including international air from New York or Washington DC.

Call or email us for details.  Limited availability.

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