Past Meetup

Safari South Africa 2018

This Meetup is past

15 people went

Needs a location

Details

WAITLISTED TRAVELERS will be moved to GOING after deposit

Price includes R/T air, all in country flights and transfers, hotel, most meals, safari & much, much, more!

12days/11 nights - $3500pp/double occ. Single Supp +$750 (http://www.paypal.me/Avalisa) (pricing approximate until flights posted)

$1500 NON-REFUNDABLE deposit to join trip. (http://www.paypal.me/Avalisa). $500 monthly payments on balance through 6/1/2018. Final payment due 6/1/2018 (must make deposit plus catch-up payments to join trip).

DISCLAIMERS: NO REFUNDS/NO TRANSFERS once airfare is purchased. Not a travel agent. Travelers participate independently and travel at own risk. Failure to have sufficient funds on account for airfare at time of airfare purchase may result in loss of space and deposit or increase in quoted price to match available airfare. MAKE PAYMENT VIA PAYPAL HERE. (http://www.paypal.me/Avalisa)Be sure to include your full name, telephone number & name of the trip. Traveler responsible for valid passport, visas & any/all PayPal fees.

VACCINATIONS

There are NO REQUIRED vaccinations for Americans visiting the areas we are, in South Africa. Per the CDC, however, some vaccinations are RECOMMENDED for most travelers, including: Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Please check with your physician to make the decision that is right for you. We will visit a malaria-free game park, but travelers may also wish to consider an optional malaria vaccine.

ITINERARY

(Meals indicated by (B)(L)(D))

DAY 1 - DEPART USA (SAT 9/8)

Depart Washington, D.C. (Dulles) to connect with your International South African Airways flight to Cape Town, South Africa via Johannesburg.

From the moment you board your South African Airways flight you feel the warm and welcoming African hospitality in every detail of the world class service you are about to experience.

DAY 2 - DUBAI LAYOVER (SUN, 9/9) - (B)

OPT: Enjoy a Dubai City Tour & More!! ($$)

DAY 3 - CAPE TOWN DAY 1 (MON, 9/10) (B, D)

Capetown City Arrival and Slave Lodge Museum

This Cape Town museum was built in 1679 as the slave lodge of the Dutch East India Company. Today, it is in the process of being transformed into a permanent museum of slavery.

In this way, the Iziko museum's custodians plan to transform the Lodge into a tribute to the up to 9000 slaves, convicts and the mentally ill that are believed to have lived in the building between 1679 and 1811.

An orientation centre on slavery at the Cape is already complete. It documents the Cape's role in the Indian Ocean slave trade route, where slaves were brought to the Cape from Indonesia, India-Ceylon, Madagascar and Mozambique.

Exhibits at the Iziko Slave Lodge include an installation that evokes the cramped conditions of slaves aboard a slave ship.

An alcove features an interactive column of light commemorating the slaves. Each ring in the column is inscribed with the names of slave inmates and turning it is symbolises a process of remembering them. The rings in turn are associated with tree rings and the passing of time.

Finally, a room uses sound, projected images and animation to take visitors into the dark and oppressive conditions of slaves' lives in the Slave Lodge.

Tonight enjoy a Welcome Dinner at the hotel.

ACCOMMODATION: 3* Hotel (New[masked] UPGRADE: 4*Hotel) - Townhouse Hotel (https://www.expedia.com/Cape-Town-Hotels-Townhouse-Hotel.h573971.Hotel-Information)

DAY 4 - CAPE TOWN DAY 2 (TUE 9/11) (B, L)

Cape Town Township & Malay Tour & Cooking Class:

Your tour will start with a ride along the winding Atlantic coast as we head to the township of Imizano Yetho, where you'll meet your young Xhosa guide, Nandipha.

Imizano Yetho, also known as Mandela Park, is an informal township with very challenging living conditions. Life for locals here has been extremely difficult, but on this tour you’ll get the chance to learn what’s fact and what’s fiction, how this community came to be, and what improvements have been made in recent years. Please note that this is not slum tourism — your guide will be a member of this community and the tour will explore the area with respect for life in this neighbourhood and the struggles it has gone through.

Nandipha will take you to the local community centre that houses several craft stalls, where you’ll have the option to purchase small items that have been handmade by locals. Your guide will also explain why and how the township came about during the Apartheid era of the 1980s, and why her family came to the city from the rural Eastern Cape (just like Nelson Mandela did). You’ll hear the story of how she is inspiring local teenage girls through her NGO, the Sistahood Girls Club.

From the centre, head to a local tavern (known as a shebeen), and pass by roadside hawkers selling food, furniture, and clothing. Stop at Nandipha’s modest home — a traditional shack seen in such communities, made of iron and cardboard — for tea and to sample local delicacies such as “Smileys” (barbecued sheep’s head… with all its teeth showing!) and “Walkie Talkies” (chicken beaks and feet).

After the township visit, return to one of the older parts of Cape Town, the Bo-Kaap which is well-known for its spicy Cape Malay cuisine. Walk along the cobblestone streets and between the rows of painted multi-colored houses to reach the home of a superb local cook, a featured guest on Master Chef SA, who will help you prepare and cook a typical Malay lunch. Once the meal is prepared, sit down together to enjoy your efforts, while discussing the local family heritage.

Then amble the short distance to the small local Bo-Kaap museum, situated in one of the oldest local houses, and learn more about the history and origins of the Cape Malays. Also enjoy a visit to the local spice shop and sample some of the different exotic spices imported from eastern lands.

A quick and respectful visit to a local mosque will follow before the drive back through the colourful streets and return to our hotel.

After marveling at the awesome views, you will depart on a Cape Peninsula Tour. Sit back and relax, as you drive along the exquisite stretch of coastline known as Millionaire’s Paradise – from Clifton to Camps Bay, to the exclusive beach hamlet of Llandudno – towards the charming working harbour of Hout Bay; if you choose, you can embark on an up-close-and-personal Seal Island cruise (optional).

ACCOMMODATION: Townhouse Hotel (https://www.expedia.com/Cape-Town-Hotels-Townhouse-Hotel.h573971.Hotel-Information)

5 - CAPE TOWN DAY 3 (WED 9/12) (B)

Table Mountain & 1/2 Day Robben Island

After breakfast today, we'll depart to Table Mountain, the most iconic landmark of South Africa.

Take a cable car ride up to the top of Table Mountain (weather dependent) to enjoy the magnificent view of the Cape. The main feature of Table Mountain is the level plateau from one side to the other, edged by impressive cliffs. The plateau flanked by Devil's Peak and by Lion's Head, form a dramatic backdrop to Cape Town. Table Mountain is often covered by clouds to form the so-called "table cloth" of cloud.

Lunch On Your Own

Robben Island - Nelson Mandela ( http://www.robben-island.org.za/ )

After lunch, board the Robben Island Ferry at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront and take part in a half day Robben Island tour.

For nearly 400 years, Robben Island was a place of banishment, exile, isolation and imprisonment for political "troublemakers" and social outcasts. During the apartheid years Robben Island became internationally known for its institutional brutality. Some freedom fighters spent more than a quarter of a century in prison for their beliefs. Nelson Mandela was one of them.

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. Robben Island came to symbolize, not only for South Africa and the African continent, but also for the entire world, the triumph of the human spirit over enormous hardship and adversity. You will be escorted around the island by an ex-political prisoner, and given insight into the past and how the human spirit triumphs.

****NEW!! EXTRA DAY IN CAPE TOWN:***

DAY 6 - CAPE TOWN DAY 4 (THU 9/13) (B, D)

Enjoy a final day in Cape Town On-Your-Own. Walk to nearby museums, or take the Hop-On/Hop-Off bus circuit round town or back to the spectacular Victoria & Albert Waterfront.

Dinner tonight and an interactive drumming session will be at Gold Restaurant. (http://www.goldrestaurant.co.za/)

From the moment you arrive, you will feel the heartbeat of a unique African restaurant in Cape Town. Gold Restaurant will take you on a taste safari from Cape Malay to African cuisine, with its set multi-course menu served at your table.

Start your evening with an interactive Djembe drumming session which will get you in tune with our African rhythms and songs for the rest of the night. The vibrant playing of the drums will ensure an energized start to your evening.

ACCOMMODATION: Townhouse Hotel (https://www.expedia.com/Cape-Town-Hotels-Townhouse-Hotel.h573971.Hotel-Information)

DAY 7 - CAPE TOWN/JOHANNESBURG DAY 1 (FRI 9/14) (B, D)

Prepare for an early-morning check out and head to the airport for Johannesburg and continuation of your South African journey.

Soweto Tour & Apartheid Museum

A visit to Soweto is an essential part of any Johannesburg experience. This memorable tour delves deep into South Africa's Apartheid roots and grants travelers an insider's look at the history, culture and people in this iconic destination.

Our guide will collect us at the Johannesburg airport to begin the journey to Soweto. On the way, you will pass by the famous National Football Stadium City, which hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the Soccer World Cup 2010. From there, enter the Diepkloof area, where the vendors are located, selling just about anything you can imagine. In Orlando West, you will visit Vilakazi Street and drive past the Mandela House where a visit into the museum is optional as well as past the home of Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

After your buffet lunch, visit the world famous Apartheid museum where you will learn about the history of South Africa and the struggle of its people during the apartheid era.

Apartheid Museum ( https://www.apartheidmuseum.org/about-museum-0 )

This is an interactive voyage of discovery, one which takes you from the dark days of ‘whites only’ privilege, through to Nelson Mandela’s historic release. The Apartheid Museum is a multimedia experience, with documentary film snippets, texts, sound clips and live accounts, recapturing life in the dark days of South Africa. It’s a fascinating tour, filled with tales of bravery and sadness, but ultimately, it’s a story with the right ending.

ACCOMMODATION: 3* Hotel (New[masked] UPGRADE: 4*Hotel) Genesis Suites (https://www.booking.com/hotel/za/genesis-suites-and-conferencing.html)

DAY 8 - JOHANNESBURG/PRETORIA DAY 2 (SAT 9/15) (B)

Tour of South African Diamond Mine

The Cullinan Diamond Mine is renowned as a source of large, high-quality gem diamonds, including Type II stones, as well as being the world’s most important source of very rare blue diamonds.

Cullinan earned its place in history with the discovery of the Cullinan diamond in 1905, the largest rough gem diamond ever found at 3,106 carats, which was cut to form the two most important diamonds in the British Crown Jewels. Many of the world’s most famous diamonds herald from Cullinan, and it continues to produce world-class diamonds under Petra’s stewardship.

Come and enjoy an exclusive tour of the working Cullinan Diamond Mine. Recently, a number of recordbreaking blue diamonds have been found including a[masked] carat diamond which achieved a value of US$ 27.6 million in 2014.

After visiting the mine, you will have an opportunity to visit the Cullinan Diamond Mine market for an unforgettable diamond and jewelry shopping experience.

***NEW!![masked] -- PRETORIA CITY TOUR***

Following our tour of the mine, enjoy a leisurely lunch (on your own), then it's off to Pretoria! The city of Pretoria (aka The Jakaranda City) is South Africa’s administrative capital our tour guide will take us on an amazing cultural experience that includes tree lined avenues, inspiring architecture, and historical monuments.

ACCOMMODATION: 4* Hotel Genesis Suites (https://www.booking.com/hotel/za/genesis-suites-and-conferencing.html)

DAY 9 JOHANNESBURG DAY 3 (SUN 9/16) (B, D)

Cradle of Humankind & Lesedi Cultural Village

You're going right back to the beginning, to the exceptional World Heritage Site of The Cradle of Humankind. The superb Maropeng Visitor Centre is truly an exciting, world class exhibition, focusing on the development of humans and your ancestors over the past few million years.

Then, from past to present, you'll be exploring five cultures at the Lesedi Cultural Village, heart and home to families of a range of African tribes, all living harmoniously in traditional homesteads. You'll be right there experiencing the warmth and hospitality of people from the Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele, Sotho and Pedi cultures, and you'll find it fascinating!

The multilingual, multi-visual orientation depicts the history of South Africa, and will deepen your understanding of the complexity of our multicultural community. Enjoy a traditional African dinner meal, a fine way to round off a Tour day of new experiences and fresh insights.

***NEW!![masked] -- ADD ELEPHANT SANCTUARY TOUR***

Would you like to bond with an elephant? Get really close-up and personal?

Then you'll love this tour to the Elephant Sanctuary in Hartbeespoortdam.The Elephant Sanctuary at Hartbeespoort is home to many rescued elephants, four of which: Mosadi, Themba, Khumba and Mvuso you will get to meet. Each elephant has its own personality, likes and dislikes,temperament and your guide will facilitate your acquaintance with these gentle giants.

During our visit, we'll experience a full elephant interaction program and it's highly recommended that you maximize your experience by riding the elephants. This will enhance our understanding of how magnificent these animals are and how graceful their movement is. After this impressive experience with the big grey beasts, enjoy a tasty lunch on the observation deck. Next stop: Lesedi Village!

ACCOMMODATION: 4* Hotel Genesis Suites (https://www.booking.com/hotel/za/genesis-suites-and-conferencing.html)

DAY 10- JOHANNESBURG/PILANESBURG DAY 4 (MON 9/17) (B, D)

African Safari & Game Drives

Wake up early!! Take your camera & overnight bag, but leave the rest of your things in the hotel. Today we board our early morning transport to the malaria-free Pilanesburg Game Resort! Following a morning Game Drive, enjoy a delicious buffet lunch and an afternoon at leisure at the resort. In late afternoon, enjoy a 2nd Game Drive, then overnight in your scenic bush lodge!

Pilanesberg National Park, South Africa’s fourth largest game park, is situated in a crater in the Bojanala Region of the North West Province. This crater is the product of a volcano that erupted many millions of years ago. This extinct volcano has evolved to become one of the most fascinating landscapes for you to visit. By the Genesis project the majority of South Africa’s wildlife is now found in the Pilanesberg game reserve.

The park covers an area of[masked] hectares. More than 7000 animals live here in a free and unhindered environment. Pilanesberg is home to all of the BIG 5 (elephant, rhino, leopard, buffalo and lion) and we guarantee that you will be able to tick off most on your list of game sightings! Other animals that you may encounter are zebra, giraffe, cheetah, hyena, hippo, crocodile, jackal, wild cat, various antelope as well as over 300 bird species…the list is endless.

Overnight at Game Resort

DAY 11 - JOHANNESBURG/PILANESBURG DAY 5 (TUE 9/18) (B, D)

African Safari & Game Drives

Enjoy a second morning at our resort. Final game drive this morning, then take advantage of a range of activities and a hearty breakfast! before heading back toward Johannesburg.

***NEW[masked] - ADD SUN CITY***

In the afternoon of day 2 we disembark at the Palace of the Lost City. Part of the Sun City complex, the Palace of the Lost City is known as one of the most extraordinary hotels in the world. The building has a unique interior boasting impressive sculptures and handmade furniture. We won’t tell you right now, you just have to see for yourself!

Overnight at Genesis Suites (https://www.booking.com/hotel/za/genesis-suites-and-conferencing.html)

DAY 12 - JOHANNESBURG FAREWELL (WED 9/19)(B)

After a leisurely breakfast, enjoy time on your own in Johannesburg before an evening transfer back to Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport to connect with your scheduled flight back to the USA.

DAY 13 - ARRIVE USA (THU 9/20) (B)

Return home with a lifetime of memories!