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Family Friendly South Africa

We recently put together itinerary for a potential client and realized that this is terrific family friendly itinerary that we wanted to share with you. Not only is the whole itinerary in malaria free areas but the properties are all a great choice for families with kids of all ages.

Days 1/2/3/4~Cape Town~Redcliffe House

Upon your arrival in Cape Town, an Extraordinary Journey’s representative will meet you and drive you to Redcliffe House. Begin your African adventure exploring the endless sights of this vibrant city.

For families, Redcliffe House offers the perfect home from home in a restored historical homestead. Situated in the trendy City Bowl area of Cape Town, the house caters to travelers seeking a luxurious yet comfortable base from which to explore the city and its many attractions. With four bedrooms, this home comfortably sleeps up to eight guests, with facilities such as living areas with fireplace, swimming pool, wooden floors and stylish décor in bright shades of red and purple off-set with soft neutrals.

What makes Redcliffe House ideal for holidays is that it provides a high level of privacy and exclusivity for guests. Breakfasts can be enjoyed at the nearby More Quarters hotel, while all of the attractions of Kloof Street are a short stroll away. Ideal for total rest and relaxation or for a busy holiday filled with sight-seeing and activities, guests are sure to feel completely at home in the tranquil setting of this establishment.

Redcliffe House is situated in the City Bowl region of Cape Town. This area is central and convenient, with plenty of restaurants, shops, coffee shops, art galleries, antique stores, clothing stores and many other interesting sights. The Waterfront, Table Mountain, Camps Bay, Company Gardens, Long Street and Kloof Street are all within easy reach.

Cape Town, Africa’s “Mother City” is both a provincial capital and a sophisticated city with lots to see and do. Cape Town, which faces north across Table Bay, has thrived from its birth, first as a Dutch settlement in 1652 when Jan van Ribeeck established it as a supply station for ships of the Dutch East India Company, and later, under the British as a port supplying ships with food and fresh water from the perennial mountain streams.

Overnights at REDCLIFFE HOUSE.

Includes: Breakfast

Activities in Cape Town

During your stay, activities for families abound. Cape Town is full of exciting and informative tours, here are just a few:

  • ROBBEN ISLAND: You will reach the Island by taking a short boat ride from the Waterfront. For nearly 400 years, Robben Island was a place of banishment, exile, isolation and imprisonment. It was here that rulers sent those they regarded as political troublemakers, social outcasts and the unwanted of society. During the apartheid years Robben Island became internationally known for its institutional brutality. The duty of those who ran the Island and its prison was to isolate opponents of apartheid and to crush their morale. Some freedom fighters, including former President Nelson Mandela, spent more than a quarter of a century in prison for their beliefs. Those imprisoned on the Island succeeded on a psychological and political level in turning a prison 'hell-hole' into a symbol of freedom and personal liberation. In 1997 Robben Island became a National Museum and National Monument. It was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. Tours are conducted by former prisoners of Robben Island, who bring to life this South African heritage, which speaks of heroic endurance and triumph of the human spirit in the face of enormous hardship and adversity. ½ day $150
  • TABLE MOUNTAIN: Get a feel of what Cape Town is all about by taking the cable car to the top of Table Mountain, the signature of this city. For centuries, Table Mountain has been a guiding beacon to mariners rounding the Cape of Southern Africa. Sir Francis Drake described it as "the most stately thing and the fairest cape we saw in the whole circumference of the earth." Despite its formidable appearance, it is possible to hike up Table Mountain. The first recorded ascent was in 1503 by the Portuguese navigator Antonio da Saldanha who climbed to the summit via the frontal cleft, now known as Platteklip Gorge. More than 1400 species of flowering plants have been recorded on the mountain which makes it a spectacular sight in the spring. Cute guinea pig-like creatures known as rock dassies, or hyraxes, (genetically, the closest living relatives to elephants) scuttle everywhere. They are not afraid and scamper among the tourists seeking to be fed.
  • CAPE PENINSULA: Take a coastal drive to the Cape of Good Hope stopping at Hout Bay where you’ll board a ship for a short ride to Duiker Island to view the Cape fur seals. Continue to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. Pass quaint seaside towns as you drive along the Cape Peninsula, surrounded by spectacular mountains, rugged shorelines, a variety of flowering plants, and the stunning blue sea. See Devil's Peak, Lion's Head, Table Mountain and the Twelve Apostles. At Cape Point the stormy waters of the Atlantic meet up with the calm waters of the Indian Ocean. Upon arrival, you can climb the steps or ride a funicular to the top. Take a close look at the ocean – you can often see southern right whales in the spring and early summer, dolphins, and a variety of seabirds. Covering over 19,000 acres, the reserve houses a truly astonishing variety of plant species – heath, sedges, ericas, milkwood trees, succulents, proteas, ground orchids and many more. About 1,200 different plant species have been identified in the reserve – nearly half of those found in the Cape Peninsula – 30 of which are considered endangered or rare. You will also see animals such as grey rhebok, Cape grysbok, Cape mountain zebra, bontebok, eland, red hartebeest, duiker, chacma baboon, Cape fox, caracal, rock dassie and porcupine. There are 250 species of birds in the reserve, ranging from ostriches to minuscule sunbirds. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, and continue to Boulders Beach. This beautiful spot on Cape Peninsula is framed by scenic white beaches that are protected by large granite boulders. It is also where the African (Jackass) Penguins can be seen – also known as the black-footed penguins. These are flightless seabirds, found only off the coast of Southern Africa – the only penguins found in this continent. A wooden walkway leads onto the little sheltered beach where they nest among the rocks, and "waddle" up and down into and out of the sea. Return to Cape Town in the evening, where you have another chance to discover one of the numerous restaurants that Cape Town has to offer.
  • KIRSTENBOSCH BOTANICAL GARDENS: Take a guided tour of Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, arguably one of the most beautiful gardens in the world. Founded in 1913, Kirstenbosch lies on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain and consists of landscaped gardens of indigenous plants and trees, watered by the Liesbeek River, as well as natural forest that extends up to the lower slopes. Kirstenbosch covers an area of 1,383 acres, 148 of which are cultivated; the remainder is a natural flora reserve. 9,000 of the estimated 20,000 species of indigenous South African flora, and close to 50% of the peninsula’s floral wealth can be found here. In the cultivated area, relate d plants are grouped together and radiate from the central lawns like the spokes of a wheel. Among the interesting sections here are the Cycad Amphitheatre, which hosts most species of these “living fossils” found in southern Africa; the famed Protea Garden on the higher slopes, with its profuse growth of silver trees (Leucadendron argenteum); the JV Mathews Rock Garden (named after the first curator) containing succulents of the genera Crassula, Aloe, Lampranthus and Euphorbia; the Erica Garden and the Pelargonium Koppie. An avenue of camphor trees and fig trees was planted by Cecil Rhodes in 1898, and a small section of wild almond (Brabejum stellatifolium) hedge planted by Dutch settler Jan van Riebeeck in 1660.

Days 5/6/7~Waterberg Area~Ant's Nest Lodge

You will be transferred to the airport for your South African Airways flight to Johannesburg where you will be met and driven (approx. 3 hours) to Ant’s Nest Lodge.

Ant’s Nest is unique bush home owned by Ant and Tessa Baber in a private game reserve in the Waterberg Mountains. The reserve has diverse topography and a wide variety of game including 15 species of antelope (including sable, nyala and oryx), white rhino, giraffe and Burchel’s zebra. An abundance of bird life, both native and migratory, is also found. Your host, Ant, has spent his whole life in the Waterberg Mountains and is a descendant of one of the earliest pioneers in the area. His love of the outdoors makes him a passionate conservationist and enables him to provide a total bush experience.

The emphasis in this secluded and private area is on wildlife viewing in open vehicles, on foot or by horseback. The large selection of well-trained horses mean they can match any riding level. Two guides accompany all of the rides. From horseback you are able to get close to the wildlife, blending in and becoming one with the bush. Tracking rhino or giraffe from horseback is an exhilarating and intimate way of viewing game in their natural habitat. For those who prefer a two-legged safari, Ant and Tessa will expertly guide you through the bush on foot. These walks can take the form of a gentle morning or afternoon stroll or an energetic hike. Game and Bird hunting are specialties of the ranch are an additional cost and must be arranged in advance. Bush picnics or sundowners at Ant’s favorite viewing spot make each day special.

Ant’s Nest will give your children a life-changing experience. Special activities are available for children and teenagers who enjoy getting involved in the running of a game reserve. Children of all ages can join their parents on all activities or can be taken out separately. Toys and games are available to keep young ones occupied between activities and the lawned gardens create a safe haven for them to play in. Riding lessons are also available for novice riders including children.Special food and meal times can be arranged and children are welcome to come to supper in their pajamas.

Tessa Barber has brought her Kenyan influence to the old colonial home, creating stylish warmth with classic furniture fashioned from local timber, fabrics and stone. This secluded bush home caters for a maximum of eight people, in three double bedrooms and one twin. All the double rooms feature hand-crafted, wooden, four-poster beds. The lodge is surrounded home landscaped gardens filled with indigenous plants. The plunge pool is a popular feature on hot afternoons and the verandah surrounding the main house is an ideal setting for an afternoon nap.

Overnights at ANT’S NEST.

Includes: Exclusive use basis, all activities, meals, drinks other than premium liquors and wines, laundry.

Days 8/9/10 ~ Madikwe~ Madikwe Safari Lodge: Villa

Return to Johannesburg for a Federal Air flight to Madikwe where you will be greeted and escorted to the Madikwe Safari Lodge.

The name Madikwe translates as ‘place of blood’, ‘the crocodile’ and ‘wealth’ in the indigenous languages of the area, and as such is synonymous with wilderness. Madikwe has a rich heritage, being first home to the ancient San people, and then to Nguni tribes migrating south. Later, missionaries and cattle farmers settled in the area and eked out an existence in the rugged terrain. In the 19th century, Madikwe was part of the Bechuanaland protectorate, and the land, which now forms the reserve, saw action during the Anglo-Boer War of 1899 – 1902. All these myriad histories and experiences linger at Madikwe, making it a unique space in the Southern African landscape.

In October 1991, a three-way conservation collaboration between the North West Parks and Tourism Board, Local Communities and the Private Sector saw 10 000 heads of game reintroduced into the area to establish the 185,000 acres Madikwe Reserve. Today, the reserve is an abundant habitat for flora and fauna, which thrive in this wilderness.

The Brews family, headed up by Robin Brews, who has a keen interest in establishing a legacy of being involved in protecting one of South Africa’s most beautiful landscapes partnered with the More Family to build and operate a luxury safari Lodge in the Madikwe Game Reserve. What has been created is a Lodge which blends with the natural landscape, giving consideration to all stakeholders especially the local communities which benefit from the micro-economies which come from the Lodge operations.

Madikwe’s game viewing is of a very high standard, aided by the fact that all guides are in radio contact with one another, and provides regular sightings of zebra, Impala, wildebeest, giraffe, warthog, white rhino, lion, wild dog, elephant, white rhino, brown hyena, and spotted hyena. Leopard sightings in Madikwe have always been a topic of discussion but the sightings are becoming a lot more frequent as individuals are becoming more relaxed with the presence of vehicles in the area. Along with Buffalo and Black Rhino, Leopard are now seen fairly regularly in the reserve. Sightings in both areas are generally limited to a maximum of 3 vehicles in order to maintain the feeling of exclusivity and to ensure the animals’ well-being. Overall, and this is a personal opinion, I would say that Madikwe offers far better general game viewing (and is probably one of the best reserves to view white rhino); with differences in sighting frequency for elephants, and lions being negligible; whilst the Kruger definitely dominates in the frequency and quality of Leopard and Buffalo sightings.

Madikwe has excellent activities for children including game drives designed specifically for kids with specially trained guides and fun educational activities at the lodge that give parents the chance to relax and enjoy themselves. Activities and game drives are available that are tailored to different age groups from children as young as 4 through teenagers.

Overnights at MADIKWE SAFARI LODGE.

Includes: All meals, soft drinks, local brand beers and spirits, house wines, safari activities, teas/coffees, fame drive refreshments & snacks.

Day11 ~ Cape Town ~ Depart

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before boarding your regional flight back to Johannesburg and connect to Cape Town where you will bid Africa farewell.

The price per person for this adventure is $ 5,600 per person, based on double occupancy. This is incredible value for money!

Included:

  • Flights within Africa as specified in the itinerary.
  • Superior accommodations throughout as indicated or similar.
  • All meals, drinks and laundry while on safari and as indicated.
  • All wildlife viewing by 4 X 4 open roof vehicle shared with other guests, driven by a highly qualified naturalist guide.
  • Complimentary soft drinks and water in vehicles.
  • All applicable hotel and lodge taxes.
  • All game park entry fees.
  • Emergency medical evacuation insurance.
  • Transfers as specified in the itinerary.
  • Sightseeing and excursions as specified in the itinerary.
  • Game viewing activities as specified in the itinerary

Not included:

  • International flights
  • US and foreign airport taxes.
  • Passport and visa fees and service charges for obtaining visas.
  • Excess baggage charges levied by airlines.
  • Gratuities to driver/guides and other conveyance attendants.
  • Items of a personal nature, unless otherwise noted
  • Personal and baggage insurance.
  • Meals, drinks and laundry not specified in the itinerary.
  • Premium brand drinks, champagne, cognacs, cellar wines, cigars and cigarettes.
  • Gratuities and any items of a personal nature.
  • Sightseeing and excursions not specified in the itinerary.
  • Flights and transfers not specified in the itinerary.
  • National parks and concession fees not specified in the itinerary.
  • Visa fees (visa information will be sent).

For more information email [email protected]

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Elizabeth Gordon