Departure February 14, 2020
South Africa 10 Days including Airfare*
Cape Town and Pilanesburg Private Game Reserve with an optional Victoria Falls extension
Presented by Ronnie Mervis & Team 980
Book Now on-line or call 1-800-409-7755.
4 Nights at Cape Town’s SOUTHERN SUN WATERFRONT – With breathtaking views of Table Mountain, located at the waterfront, this modern, chic, and spaciously comfortable hotel offers everything you would expect from a full service hotel.
3 Nights at IVORY TREE LODGE – located in the Pilanesberg National Park and situated in the crater of an ancient and long-extinct volcano, the exclusive Ivory Tree Game Lodge is surrounded by typical African bushveld.
- 7 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, and 3 Dinners
- Airport transfers with private vehicle and driver, including a private ‘Meet and Greet’ service on arrival into South Africa.
- Early morning cable car ride to the top of Table Mountain, for glorious views of the city, ocean and countryside.
- Half day excursion to infamous Robben island – the historic prison of Nelson Mandela. Round trip ferry and escorted island tour included.
- Full day scheduled excursion to Cape Point including a visit to the Boulders Beach penguins and a seafood luncheon.
- Full day tour to the beautiful winelands, including wine tasting and lunch.
- Morning and late afternoon game drives within Pilanesburg Game Reserve in search of the Big 5, in specially designed 4×4 safari vehicles.
- Optional 3-day / 2-night extension to Victoria Falls.
Mervis Diamond 2020 Safari Itinerary
Day 01 Friday, February 14, 2020
Washington, DC – Johannesburg
Your exciting adventure begins today, as you board your flight bound for South Africa on award-winning South African Airways – recipient of the Best Airline in Africa trophy for 17 consecutive years.
Day 02 Saturday, February 15, 2020
Johannesburg – Cape Town
Touchdown in Johannesburg and, after completing Customs, continue with your flight to Cape Town – the ‘Mother City’. You will be met by our Great Safaris representative and transferred to your reserved hotel.
With its iconic Table Mountain backdrop, Cape Town is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. An eclectic mix of architectural styles reflects both the area’s history and the more pragmatic realities of the 21st century. The city’s Edwardian and Victorian buildings have been carefully preserved, and many excellent examples of Cape Dutch architecture are found in the city and its environs.
ACCOMMODATIONS: SOUTHERN SUN WATERFRONT HOTEL
Cape Town (Table Mountain & Robben Island)Awake this morning to a delicious breakfast at your hotel and then your private touring vehicle will collect you from the hotel to visit Table Mountain. It is best to ascend the mountain in the early morning before the clouds have settled onto the mountain top.
Later today we will transfer to Robben Island Ferry dock and depart on a scheduled boat trip across Table Bay to Robben Island. On arrival guests will be met by their guide – an ex-political prisoner and then taken on a bus ride with the guide providing commentary. Stop and visit the infamous Maximum Security Prison as well as the Murray’s Bay Harbor precinct attractions, such as the Muslim shrine and the Museum Shop.
Situated just a few kilometers from the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, it was “home” to Nelson Mandela for some 17 years. Today it has become a symbol of freedom, the transformative power of forgiveness and a place of political pilgrimage. The tour includes a 7-mile boat trip, which takes about half an hour each way and the tour lasts about three hours.
ACCOMMODATIONS: SOUTHERN SUN WATERFRONT HOTEL (Breakfast)
Day 04 Monday, February 17, 2020
Cape Town (Cape Point)
Depart this morning on a full day tour of the Cape Peninsula, which will feature a midday break to enjoy a fresh seafood luncheon. First you will travel via the 12 Apostles and Hout Bay, to Chapman’s Peak. This is one of the region’s most dramatic mountain drives and offers amazing panoramic views over the city and environs. Descend the mountain pass and continue on to the coastline.
This strip of the peninsula’s shoreline, commonly known as the Atlantic Seaboard, stretches some 34 miles from the waters of Table Bay along the western coast to the nature reserve at Cape Point. The exceptional beaches and rugged mountains along this coastline not only make this a popular drive, but also provide outstanding views across the Atlantic Ocean, with some of the most spectacular sunsets in the world.
The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve comes to an end at majestic Cape Point. Situated at the junction of two of earth’s most contrasting water masses – the cold Benguela current on the West Coast and the warm Agulhas current on the East Coast, the Cape of Good Hope is popularly perceived as the meeting point of the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans. Guests may take (optional, cost not included) the funicular to the vantage point from where they will be able to witness the “meeting of the two oceans”.
Today’s attractions include Boulders beach, which is home to a colony of endangered jackass penguins in Simonstown. Technically, these are African penguins… but early settlers thought that their braying sound was more like a four-footed pack animal than a two-footed bird!
ACCOMMODATIONS: SOUTHERN SUN WATERFRONT HOTEL (Breakfast, Lunch)
Day 05 Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Cape Town (Winelands)
Another day of unforgettable scenery begins as we depart on our full day tour to the winelands. Enjoy a spectacular drive through beautiful mountain scenery to the Cape’s World-Famous Wine Estates. You will stop at a popular winery where our group can sample some of the esteemed vintages and enjoy a cellar tour.
Franschhoek is our next stop – a gorgeous village surrounded by majestic mountains and often called the ‘gourmet center’ of South Africa. Some of the country’s finest restaurants are located in Franschhoek, before continuing to Paarl. This ‘pearl of the Cape’ lies nestled in the Berg river Valley, guarded by the huge granite rocks from which it gets its name. Paarl is also well known for its wine, cuisine and culture, and it also considered the home of the Afrikaans language.
We then continue to the lovely town of Stellenbosch, with its tree lined streets and historical architecture. The Stellenbosch University is the oldest college in South Africa! There will be time to explore Stellenbosch on foot – exploring the shops on popular Dorp Street and perhaps stopping for coffee in a quaint sidewalk café.
We will enjoy lunch today at a winery and then we return to our hotel for an evening at leisure.
ACCOMMODATIONS: SOUTHERN SUN WATERFRONT HOTEL (Breakfast, Lunch)
Day 06 Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Cape Town – Johannesburg
This morning, after breakfast, transfer to Cape Town International Airport for a scheduled flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg. You will be met on arrival by a Great Safaris representative who will escort you to the waiting transfer vehicle for the drive to Pilanesberg National Park, situated in the North West Province.
You will arrive into camp in time for lunch and then will have some time to relax or game watch from the comfort of your terrace. Later in the afternoon guests will gather for afternoon tea and refreshments before setting out on an exciting game drive. The wildlife adventure continues into the darkness, when you return to camp for a hearty dinner.
ACCOMMODATIONS: IVORY TREE GAME LODGE (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Situated in the crater of an ancient and long-extinct volcano within the Pilanesberg National Park, the exclusive Ivory Tree Game Lodge is surrounded by typical African bushveld; rolling grasslands and lightly wooded areas, with fabulous views of the koppies.
Days 07 & 08 Thursday & Friday, February 20 & 21, 2020
Pilanesburg National Park
You will have a total of 3 nights in Pilanesberg, with morning and late afternoon game drives every day.
The Pilanesberg National Park is 212 square miles in extent. It is almost perfectly circular because it comprises the area of a 1200 million years old volcano crater with a small lake in the centre. This very scenic terrain lies in the transition zone between Kalahari and Lowveld, and both types of vegetation are found here. The Pilanesberg National Park was opened in 1979. In the Pilanesberg National Park today live virtually all the animal species of southern Africa, including, lions, elephants, white and black rhinos, buffaloes, leopards, zebras, hyenas, giraffes, hippos and crocodiles. Over 300 bird species have been counted within the park’s environs.
The crater of a long extinct volcano is the setting of Pilanesberg Game Reserve – a fascinating alkaline complex produced by volcanic eruptions some 1300 million years ago. Pilanesberg Game Reserve is one of the largest volcanic complexes of its kind in the world. Its rare rock types and structure make it a unique geological feature.
Pilanesberg rates high among the world’s outstanding geological phenomena. It has survived ages of erosion and stands high above the surrounding bushveld plains. The early presence of man can be seen in the numerous Stone and Iron Age sites that are scattered throughout the park. The park exists within the transition zone between the dry Kalahari and wetter Lowveld vegetation, commonly referred to as “Bushveld”. Unlike any other large park, unique overlaps of mammals, birds and vegetation occur because of this transition zone.
ACCOMMODATIONS: IVORY TREE GAME LODGE (Breakfast)
Day 09 Saturday, February 22, 2020
Pilanesburg National Park – Johannesburg – Washington, DC
One last early morning in the bushveld for any final wildlife sightings. Return to camp for breakfast and then depart on the journey back to Johannesburg. Enroute back to Johannesburg the group will stop at the Chameleon Village craft market where guests can do some craft shopping.
The journey concludes with the arrival at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo international airport for our South African Airways flight bound for the USA. (Breakfast)
Day 10 Sunday, February 23, 2020
Arrive Washington, DC
Arrive home early today…with memories and photos to last a lifetime!
South Africa: An entry permit will be issued to you upon arrival into South Africa.
South Africa requires two blank visas pages in your passport. We recommend one blank visa page for each other country visited. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond intended period of stay.
There are no required inoculations on this itinerary. However, malaria tablets are highly recommended. You may obtain these pills by prescription, from your regular physician.
AIRFARE: Round trip Economy Air aboard South African Airways direct from Washington DC, including taxes, fuel and the internal fares within South Africa; subject to change.
Book Now on-line or call 1-800-409-7755.
*Land & Air price is per person based on double occupancy. Valid as of June 03, 2019 for departures from Washington Dulles (IAD) between February 14 – March 13, 2020 with the same itinerary available at higher prices during other travel periods. Other departure points and domestic flights within the U.S. can be booked. Price for other departure cities and/or travel dates may vary. Subject to availability and currency exchange rate fluctuations. Prices are valid for new bookings only, are not retroactive and may change without notice. Package includes all government and airline imposed taxes and fees. Baggage and optional service fees, cancellation charges and other restrictions may apply.