Day 1 – 5: Cape Cadogan Boutique Hotel, Cape Town
Day 5 – 7: The Oyster Box , Umhlanga Rocks
Day 7 – 12: &Beyond Phinda Vlei Lodge, Phinda Private Game Reserve
Cape Town is a true fan favorite, with its exciting Mediterranean vibe, amazing culinary scene, beautiful Cape Dutch architecture, thriving art community, and successful sports teams – all set to the backdrop of iconic Table Mountain and the turbulent waters of the Atlantic Ocean. It is no wonder it is called The Mother City. This vibrant, trendy city has broad appeal. Local attractions include Table Mountain, Robben Island, the V&A Waterfront, Bo-Kaap, boutique shops, numerous museums, wineries, and world famous restaurants. For those venturing beyond the city, the Cape Winelands and Cape Peninsula are a day trip away.
Cape Town’s rich cultural heritage dates back more than 300 years and its diversity is evident in the city’s architecture, art, and food. It is the second most populous city in South Africa and sits at the southwest tip of Africa.
Cape Cadogan Boutique Hotel is part of the Kloof Street Neighbourhood and is a grand old dame (with National Monument status) dating back to the early 1800s. The hotel is elegantly styled in beautiful emerald green, classic black and white, and touches of gold. This sophisticated style brings her firmly into the 21st century, without losing any of her charm.
Each room is individually designed around her historic uniqueness. Enjoy relaxed guest areas that includes two pools for the warmer days. A focus on wellness includes calming therapies at the onsite spa, and the hotel gym makes it is easy to keep up a training routine.
The hotel restaurant Upper Union has a buzz all of its own. The expertly curated menu of indulgent dishes, split into big plates and smalls, is all about punchy flavours packed into hearty dishes and served potluck style. Upper Union’s style of dining encourages a shared experience, best enjoyed with a bespoke cocktail made by expert mixologists.
Superior Luxury Room
The Superior Luxury Room is all about absolute privacy and comfort. Accommodating two people, the six available suites have air-conditioning, bathroom en-suite, satellite television, safe, mini-bar, direct-dial telephone, hairdryer, complimentary wifi access, and a range of deluxe amenities.
Day 2: Explore quirky Cape Town. This is the grittier, real Cape Town. Edgy, artsy and bursting with culinary flavour and creativity. We don’t call Cape Town the ‘Mother City’ just because it is the highlight of SA. When you come into contact with some of our mesmerizing locals who take their skill set to outta-this-world levels of expertise and resourcefulness, you may well come to believe that “mother city” is code for “mother ship”. Our first point is the top of the mountain, the cable car spreading the city out before our eyes as we rise above the rest of the world.
Cape Town’s inner-city streets are a treasure trove of fashion and jewellery boutiques, studios, quirky home décor, atmospheric pubs, craft beers and concept stores. We’ll touch on some of the city’s lesser known historical facts, shipwreck stories and possibly meet a few of the captivating characters behind the roasteries, distilleries and workshops.
Craft beer and gin tasting at a local distillery or brewery, caps a well-rounded day!
Day 3: Explore the Cape Peninsula. Meet your private guide this morning and begin the day at the working fishing harbour of Kalk Bay, with its bohemian arts and crafts shops, quirky boutiques, and antiques stores. We head to the richly historic Simon’s Town, a naval town with museums and monuments to bring insight into the colourful past and the shark diving industry. We go in search of our own splinter colony of rogue penguins, away from the crowded boardwalks, on a beach known only to locals. Next it’s on to the Cape Peninsula for a gentle hike to explore the reserve’s secluded beaches and unique wildlife.
Lunch will be at Crofter’s Kitchen. Nicky Gibbs, who has travelled the world, has opened up her home to a select few, for the most intimate and relaxed lunch experience. Her gastronomic career has seen her cooking for the likes of David Bowie and The Rolling Stones, and she has some fascinating stories to share from her Crofter’s Kitchen. We will join Nicky for a contemporary, tasting menu freshly foraged from local gardens, forests, fynbos and the coastline! Her home is located in Noordhoek, with panoramic views from Chapman’s Peak to Kommetjie.
Our return to Cape Town is via Noordhoek Farm Village a food artisan hub of the Peninsula OR alternatively, pop into a gorgeous Constantia wine estate, a well-known wine-producing area, one of the oldest in the southern hemisphere. Time permitting, we may stop for a sundowner at a local brewery, vineyard, beach or scenic look-out.
Please note: your guide may advise route changes to beat the crowds.
Day 4: Winetasting by helicopter. Todays’ exceptial experience starts with helicopter flight to Vergelegen Wine Estate in Somerset West where their mystic Camphor Forest is the site of your ‘white tablecloth’ picnic. The Camphor trees on the estate are seedlings from the five Camphor trees believed to have been planted by Willem Adriaan van der Stel in 1700 and which are now National Monuments.
Enjoy delicious picnic fare in the magical surrounds of the camphor forest while sipping on a choice of Vergelegen’s award winning wines. Your time here will also include a wine tasting during which knowledgeable wine advisors will guide you through a select range of award-winning wines. The Vergelegen tasting centre overlooks a pretty, octagonal shaped herb garden and tastings can be enjoyed inside or outside on the patio.
Your magical picnic experience will conclude with your return flight to the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town and from there, a transfer back to Cape Cadogan.
Umhlanga is a Zulu word meaning “place of the reeds,” so named for the profusion of reeds on the banks of the Ohlange River that flows just north. Umhlanga is perfectly situated on the east coast of South Africa, north of the vibrant port city of Durban. It is an atmospheric coastal town with the best accommodation and restaurants in the area. Located close to the international airport and with much to do, it is a wonderful place to stop or to use as a base for excursions throughout KwaZulu-Natal.
The Oyster Box has the best location in Umhlanga, on the beach overlooking the lighthouse.
Overlooking the historical and famous landmark, the Umhlanga lighthouse, The Oyster Box has long been one of South Africa’s best-loved and most distinguished hotels, taking a special place in the hearts of the countless guests who have enjoyed its warmth, caring service, and relaxed elegance since it first opened in 1947. The Oyster Box offers an array of individually decorated rooms and suites, an award-winning spa set amid tropical gardens, and a mouth-watering menu of restaurants and bars.
Luxury Sea-Facing Room
The Oyster Box offers an array of individually decorated rooms and suites, an award-winning spa set amid tropical gardens, and a mouth-watering menu of restaurants and bars.
Perfectly situated on the ocean’s edge, a brief five minutes walk from Umhlanga Village Centre, the Oyster Box Hotel is conveniently located for quick and easy access to Afro-chic Durban city centre, international airports and numerous stylish shopping centres…yet has a feeling of classical charm and elegance like nowhere else on earth.
Chef Kevin Joseph creates an incredible curry buffet regarded as the best in South Africa. The Ocean Terrace is an awe-inspiring spot for indulgent oysters plucked from local oyster beds and champagne with views of the waves. Come evening, The Grill Room is the place for fine cuisine. High Tea is a world-famous occasion, served beneath The Palm Court’s soaring ceilings and chandeliers originally from The Savoy in London.
Arts & Dining In Durban
Meet the dancing curator of the city’s largest collection of tribal art, tap into indigenous knowledge systems and South African traditional culture. Discover the therapeutic nature of song to Africans and how culture and aesthetics share one voice before moving onto the KZNSA, which is a renowned contemporary art gallery exhibiting local artists. Stroll through this thought-provoking space with a KZNSA Gallery specialist or a local artist who will offer insight into the works exhibited.
Your next stop will be to meet a local street artist and fine art graduate who will unlock the trendy suburb of Glenwood on foot as you track down the public portfolios of local street and graffiti artists. Then return to The Oyster Box for some at leisure (we highly recommend the spa!) before joining Executive Chef Kevin Jospeh and his talented brigade of chefs for a special dinner.
The Chef’s Table experience begins with pre-dinner drinks in The Oyster Bar, before a tour through the heart of The Oyster Box kitchens. Then, take your seat for a culinary journey, with Chef Joseph as your guide. The meal begins with champagne and an amuse bouche, as the chefs around you set to work creating a five-course feast that celebrates the signature dishes of The Oyster Box.
Showcasing one of the continent’s finest game viewing experiences, &BEYOND Phinda is home to Africa’s Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino), as well as 436 bird species. The reserve is particularly well known for close-up sightings of the elegant yet elusive cheetah, as well as the rare black rhino. With its seven distinct habitats, Phinda is often described as ‘Seven Worlds of Wonder’, a magnificent tapestry of woodland, grassland, wetland and forest, interspersed with mountain ranges, rivers, marshes and pans. Home to 1 000 hectares (2471 acres) of Africa’s remaining rare dry sand forest, the reserve is situated in close proximity to the unspoiled beaches and spectacular coral reefs of the Indian Ocean, offering an unmatched combination of bush and beach adventures.
Guests at Phinda experience interpretive game drives, in open 4×4 safari vehicles, led by professionally trained &BEYOND rangers and Zulu trackers, as well as a wide range of optional adventures in the bush and on the beach.
Phinda is home to six magnificent lodges, each with its own individual charm and character.
It was at Phinda that &BEYOND’S Care of the Land, Wildlife and People impact vision was tested and shaped. Here, 28 622 hectares of farming land was reclaimed for wildlife, including 790 hectares of critically endangered ancient sand forest. Cheetah, rhino and pangolin are actively protected, with more than 30 years of pioneering wildlife victories behind us. Along with Africa Foundation, the reserve works closely with neighbouring communities, employing locally and investing in community education and welfare. Sustainability practices are a daily priority and include the elimination of plastic bottles and a focus on energy-saving initiatives.
Phinda Vlei Lodge’s unique location offers ever-changing game viewing from the comfort of your suite. Set on the edge of a sand forest, and overlooking a vast grassy meadow, each of the six thatched suites ensure exclusivity and incredible wildlife sightings. The air-conditioned suites each feature a beautiful, plantation-style bedroom, with a luxuriously spacious ensuite bathroom and dressing room that effortlessly blends a sense of old-world luxury with quirky, contemporary features.
The suite’s interiors showcase a mix of curated antiques and collectables combined with bold fabrics. Take advantage of a private lap pool and game viewing deck that overlooks lush plains and observe antelope and other curious wildlife grazing nearby, as well as a variety of birdlife. Unwind in the beautiful surrounds of the main guest area, which also includes a handsome library, as well as a fire pit setting, ideal for pre-dinner drinks.
Each air-conditioned suite features a spacious room with a personal bar, a luxurious ensuite bathroom (each equipped with a bath, indoor and outdoor shower) and a separate dressing room. Take advantage of the private lap pool in each suite, as well as the game-viewing deck that overlooks a grassy wetland pan system, brimming with wildlife.
Choose from a range of exciting Phinda adventures such as a specialist walking and tracking safaris, a sleep out under the stars, an infrared Night Eye drive, and other participative conservation experiences such rhino notching or pangolin tagging. Also within easy access of the reserve are Zulu village visits, Africa Foundation community visits, a Maputaland exploration, Maputaland beach trip, night turtle drives (seasonal), scuba safaris, or an incredible ocean safari that offers you a host of marine life sightings. Specialist safaris can be arranged in advance and focus on special interests such as birding.
Phinda is home to a magnificent variety of wildlife, including the Big Five, but is best known for its large population of cheetah and black rhino. The sand forest is home to the shy suni and the rare red duiker, two tiny antelope that are seldom encountered elsewhere. A variety of incredible adventures are available, including twice-daily game drives, nature walks, conservation and community experiences, sleep outs, village tours, night drives, specialist safaris, as well as nearby ocean activities.
Maputaland Beach Trip
The vast sandy beaches of the Maputaland coastline provide a beautiful setting for this half-day beach outing to beautiful Sodwana Bay. There is ample time for you to soak up the warm African sun and splash in the clear, temperate waters of the Indian Ocean, bordered by miles and miles of sandy beaches. The diverse area is stippled with rugged foothills, flanked by dense dune vegetation and the azure hues of the tropical Indian Ocean.
Black Rhino Tracking Phinda
Slip on some comfortable walking shoes, grab your binoculars and camera, and spend the morning on foot with an expert ranger and tracker team in search of the rare and highly endangered black rhinoceros, also known as the hook-lipped rhinoceros. A walk through the bush is a far more intimate experience as, without the distracting hum of the safari vehicle, you will hear, smell, feel and see with heightened awareness, igniting your entire consciousness. As you slowly walk along tracks trodden by untamed wildlife, you will be humbled and left in awe of this magnificent natural site.
Experience Phinda Private Game Reserve on foot, in awe of its untouched nature and allure. Tread along the very paths black rhinos roam free on and witness their lives from a careful distance. It is the perfect setting in which to appreciate the natural environment. The slow pace of the walk and the interpretive skills of the armed guides open your eyes to a new and fascinating world. Learn how to follow rhino tracks, recognise rhino middens and scratching posts, and follow the signs of the bent trees and broken grass blades, searching for rhino in the company of wildlife professionals.
The safety of our guests is paramount and only the most highly trained and qualified guides host these walks.
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