South Africa Over Christmas

Christmas in South Africa can be a busy time but if you book ahead you can get a great family program. This is one includes four nights in Cape Town and exclusive use houses in malaria-free areas with great game-viewing for a family of nine. A great program for adults and kids at any time of year!

Days 1-5: Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa, Cape Town

Cape Town is a sophisticated city with lots to see and do. The city, 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. Work up an appetite for Cape Town’s world class restaurants with a tour of Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison), a drive to the Cape of Good Hope or a ride up Table Mountain in a cable car. A five star boutique hotel, The Twelve Apostles is dramatically poised on the slopes of the Twelve Apostles mountain range just outside the suburb of Camps Bay. The only hotel on this stretch of mountainside, The Twelve Apostles has breathtaking views over the Atlantic Ocean and is the perfect location for Cape Town’s magical sunsets.

Days 6-8: Royal Madikwe Luxury Safari Residence, Madikwe

The Madikwe Game Reserve is heralded as the boutique reserve in South Africa. This 76,500 hectares of malaria-free bushveld is the setting for the luxurious exclusive use residence where guests will enjoy their own slice of Africa while having an opportunity to see the vaunted Big Five.Created from almost 300 square miles of farmland in the North West Province, Madikwe Game Reserve is bordered by Botswana in the north, the spectacular Dwarsberg Mountains to the south, and the Marico River to the east. In 1991, Madikwe was the site of Operation Phoenix, the largest game-relocation program in Africa. Ten thousand animals of 27 major species, including wild dog, cheetah, lion, white and black rhino, buffalo and elephant were re-introduced to the Reserve over a six-year period. Some species, such as kudu and leopards, occurred naturally in the area. The program has been hugely successful and today, game viewing is at its prime in now the country's fourth largest game reserve. Madikwe is one of the best areas in Africa to see wild dogs and hosts the second largest population of elephants in South Africa.

Days 9-12: Makweti Safari Lodge, Waterberg

Transfer (3 hours) to Waterberg where you will stay at the Makweti Safari Lodge to ring in the New Year. The Waterberg District, located in the majestic Waterberg Mountains, is a tourism gem with several great nature reserves and a wealth of wildlife roaming its bushveld savannah. Its major attractions include hot springs, South Africa’s first-ever savannah biosphere reserve, the bird-rich Nyslvley Wetland and the archaeological site of Makapans Valley.

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Marcia Gordon