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South Africa Highlights

11 days Guided Tours

Virgin Holidays' view

This fantastic tour combines all of the must-see destinations of South Africa, from the wildlife of Kruger National Park to the scenic Garden Route, and of the spectacular beauty of Cape Town.

Itinerary

Day 1: Cape Town — Mossel Bay

After an early morning departure from Cape Town, travel along Sir Lowry's Pass, with its magnificent views from the top, to Grabouw and Elgin, a lush landscape surrounded by majestic mountains. Continue to Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa, where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. The area has largely been untouched and unexplored with its rugged coast line being the graveyard for many a ship. The historic Cape Agulhas Lighthouse is considered the icon that signifies the tip of Africa and that creates unforgettable memories. After this thrilling experience, we continue via historic Swellendam, the third oldest town in South Africa, to Mossel Bay, from where the Garden Route extends to the Storms River in the east. Overnight in Mossel Bay.

Day 2: Mossel Bay — Oudtshoorn

After breakfast continue your journey to Oudtshoorn, the ostrich capital of the world and home to the spectacular limestone caverns of the Cango Caves. Visit an Ostrich Farm for a guided tour. Enjoy wine tasting at a local wine estate before setting off on a tour of the Cango Caves, one of the world's great natural wonders, sculpted by nature through the ages. Overnight in Oudtshoorn. (B/D)

Day 3: Oudtshoorn — Knysna

After breakfast, travel over the Outeniqua Pass to George, the sixth oldest town in South Africa, with many historical landmarks like the Slave Tree and King Edward VII Library building; said to be the best example of Edwardian architecture in the town. The tour travels via Wilderness, an attractive holiday resort to Knysna, known as the oyster box of South Africa, nestling on the banks of a beautiful lagoon in the heart of the Garden Route. Enjoy a lagoon cruise to the Featherbed Nature Reserve (weather permitting), where you can take a trailer ride to the top of the Western Head to enjoy panoramic views of the town and lagoon, returning for lunch. The afternoon is at leisure to further explore this charming town set around a natural harbour lagoon. Overnight in Knysna. (B/L)

Day 4: Knysna

Today you'll have the opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the Knysna area. Your journey will include a visit to the Garden of Eden, set in the lush, green, indigenous Knysna forest. The major attraction is the forest itself, beautiful yellow wood trees, thick green foliage and streams. Afterwards you'll have the opportunity to visit Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary, where you will be able to see a variety of primates, roaming free in the forest. The sanctuary is well known for its efforts to rehabilitate and free previously caged primates. The tour continues to the famous Eastern Head, where you will enjoy spectacular views of the Knysna Heads (weather permitting). Afterwards you'll travel to Brenton on Sea, a breath-taking holiday location and a nature lover's paradise with its unspoilt beaches and peaceful surroundings. The remainder of the afternoon will be at leisure. Overnight in Knysna. (B)

Day 5: Knysna — Tsitsikamma

Travel to Plettenberg Bay, the jewel of the Garden Route, before visiting Birds of Eden sanctuary, the biggest single free flight aviary in the world. The sanctuary was developed to create a safe environment in which to release a large collection of free-flight African birds. Our journey continues to Bloukrans Bridge, the highest single span arch bridge in the world, currently offering the highest commercially operated Bungy Jump in the world. Visit the Tsitsikamma National Park and Storms River Mouth (weather permitting). The Tsitsikamma National Park incorporates 80 km of rocky coastline with spectacular sea and landscapes, a remote mountainous region with secluded valleys covered in mountain Fynbos and temperate high forests with deep river gorges leading down to the sea. Overnight in the Tsitsikamma area. (B)

Day 6: Tsitsikamma — Johannesburg (via Port Elizabeth)

Head eastwards along the Tsitsikamma Forest to Port Elizabeth, known as the "friendly city" with a wonderful climate. Travel to Port Elizabeth airport for the onward flight to Johannesburg, where you'll be met and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure. (B)

Day 7: Johannesburg

Spend a full day exploring Soweto and surrounds. The tour starts with a visit to the prestigious Apartheid Museum, located in Johannesburg's Orlando suburb. The museum covers the full history of the Apartheid era in South Africa. From here you will continue to Soweto for a tour through this vibrant township. You will visit the Hector Peterson Memorial that commemorates the role of the country's students in the struggle against Apartheid. Continue to the Liliesleaf Heritage Site for a tour. Once known as Liliesleaf Farm this fascinating heritage site is closely linked to the Rivonia Treason Trial that lead to Nelson Mandela's incarceration. In the early 1960's Liliesleaf was a sanctuary where most prominent leaders of South Africa's struggle against Apartheid sought shelter, attended secret meetings and engaged in key debates on political and military policy and strategy. You will learn in detail what happened during those days and the ultimate arrest of Nelson Mandela. (B)

Day 8: Johannesburg

Enjoy a full day at leisure. (B

Day 9: Johannesburg — Kruger National Park

This morning you will be collected from your hotel and heading east to the Mpumalanga region. After freshening up at your lodge enter the world famous Kruger National Park and spend the afternoon game viewing in your closed touring vehicle. The park offers some of the best game viewing and wildlife opportunities in the world - and the visitor will soon appreciate the challenges of managing this unique reserve. (B/D)

Day 10: Kruger National Park

The day begins with early morning coffee or tea, followed by a thrilling open vehicle game drive through Kruger National Park with pre-packed breakfast. Your guide will endeavour to spoil you with sightings of the "Big Five", general game and prolific bird life. Return to the lodge for lunch (own account) and a short siesta. In the afternoon we will journey once again through the magnificent expanses of the Kruger National Park, unrivalled in its diversity of flora and fauna. Enjoy an afternoon of game viewing in your closed touring vehicle pursuing the "Big Five" and other rare and endangered species. Optional (own account) open vehicle game-drives are available. (B/D)

Day 11: Mpumalanga

Enjoy breakfast before setting out to explore the magnificent Panorama Route, one of the most scenic routes in the region, offering glorious views, spectacular landscapes and exquisite waterfalls. Visit majestic sights including God's Window, the Three Rondavels and Blyde River Canyon - the third largest canyon of its kind in the world, Bourke's Luck Potholes and the charming village of Graskop, one of the first gold mining camps in the country. Optional (own account) open vehicle game-drives are available, should you prefer not to join the Panorama Route tour. (B/D)

Day 12: Mpumalanga — Johannesburg

Enjoy breakfast before starting the return journey to Johannesburg. Arrive at Johannesburg O.R. Tambo Airport at approximately 2:30pm, where your tour ends. (B)

Board Basis - this tour is based on mixed board basis.

Hotels and locations are subject to change based on availability, final hotel list will be confirmed before departure.

Dates & prices

The table below shows our escorted tour departure dates.

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Prices are described as Guide prices on this website and may be higher or lower due to availability and date of departure.

Prices are for departure dates listed, ex-UK and are per adult based on two adults travelling and sharing a standard room and with return economy flights where stated. Single room and flight prices are available at a supplement.

Please note some tours are subject to minimum numbers, please call our travel experts or visit your local retail store for full details as well as our latest prices.

Tour information

Pre/Post Tour information

If you would like to extend your trip or make the tour part of a longer holiday, we can tailor make this for you. Our expert touring team will work with you to arrange any additional hotel stays or combine with other destinations. Please contact them on 0344 739 4548 or email Enquiries.Journeys@virginholidays.com

Tour inclusions

  • All excursions and meals as listed
  • Transfers and sightseeing on a shared basis with English speaking guides
  • Standard 3-4V accommodation

Tour exclusions

  • All flights and airport transfers in the UK
  • Travel Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, tips & gratuities, video camera fees at monuments
  • Anything not detailed on the itinerary

Dining inclusions

Mixed Board as listed

Accommodation

Accommodation in the itinerary are 3-4V rated properties based on availability. Please note some tours stay in remote locations e.g. safari lodges and tented camps, when the ‘V’ rating may vary. Hotels are subject to change up until departure.

Visa requirements

Please see our Country Note documents for queries on visas and required vaccinations or visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice for the most up to date information.

Extensions

If you would like to extend your trip or make the tour part of a longer holiday, we can tailor make this for you. Our expert touring team will work with you to arrange any additional hotel stays or combine with other destinations. Please contact them on 0344 739 4548 or email Enquiries.Journeys@virginholidays.com

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