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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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Latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office repatriation travel advice


Over the past few weeks, we have repatriated our customers from overseas who wanted to come home.  

Please visit this page to keep up to date with the Government’s travel advice on returning to the UK, and to register for email alerts.
 

Your holiday may be affected by travel restrictions or cancellations

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the  Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know as least 21 days before travel.

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Looking for inspiration? Explore our destinations and holiday types and save your faves to your very own Wishlist. Or dive right in to our 2021 holiday offers.

For extra piece of mind, new bookings made before 30 September 2020 for travel up 30 April 2021 also have the flexibility to amend free of charge. If you need to change don’t worry, you can move your holiday as far out as 31 December 2021 subject to availability.

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With many customers needing our help, we are prioritising those customers due to travel before 31 December 2020. Log in to Manage my booking where you can message us about your options or you can give us a call. Bear in mind you may have to wait longer than expected. We continue to review this and working to open up these options to more customers. In the meantime check out our FAQs to see if this can help answer any immediate questions.

Stay tuned for the latest updates


Rest assured; we will notify you as soon as we know if your holiday has been affected.  

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know as least 21 days before travel.

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

Let’s talk


If you need to speak to us to change or cancel your booking you can call our team on 0344 472 9646.

For the latest information on Covid-19 you can check our FAQs here.

Payment flexibility


Don’t worry if you’ve missed a payment or just need a little more time to pay; we have options available to help you. If your holiday is going ahead as planned, you can continue to pay for your holiday in Manage my booking, even if travelling in less than 12 weeks. If you’re unsure, you can delay any additional payments by choosing a new time to travel by requesting a call back in Manage My booking for one of our team to look at options. If your holiday is more than 6 months away, you may wish to set up a Direct Debit to spread the cost. This can be arranged whilst rebooking or afterwards in Manage my booking.

We're flexible with your holiday plans


We understand that you may wish to change your holiday plans and we appreciate the need for flexibility. 

We'll be in touch by email letting you know how to register to change your holiday plans. You can also log into Manage my booking to find the details there. 

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

You're holiday is going ahead as planned


If we haven’t notified you of any changes, your holiday will be going ahead as planned but if you prefer to move your holiday to a later time we can help. You can call our team on 0344 472 9499 who can look at options for you.

Thank you for your patience and understanding


Payments are being prioritised based on when the request was made, working in order from March 2020 onwards. We will always try to process refunds at the earliest opportunity, for requests before August our maximum timeframe is 120 days. As we are steadily reducing the maximum processing time for each new request, for refund requests made in August, we expect the maximum processing time to be 80 days, from the date the refund is requested. For those requesting a refund in September, we expect it to be processed within a maximum of 60 days, and then reduce to 30 days for refunds requested in October, before returning to normal levels.

We'll be in touch soon


To finalise the amendment, one of our customer advisors will phone you. We need to work through amend requests in departure date order so we can prioritise those with the most imminent travel plans, so you may have a longer wait than usual until we’re able to ring you back. We will help everyone that wants to move their holiday.

I returned early from holiday and have further questions?


You can contact our team by emailing feedback.backhome@virginholidays.com to discuss options on unused portions of your holiday. If you need to contact our team about amending an existing holiday or requesting a refund please log in to manage my booking.

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