Essential South Africa

Essential South Africa

Start in the "Mother City" of Cape Town, considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. With iconic Table Mountain as her backdrop, Cape Town is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city surrounded by stunning mountains and a spectacular coastline. Visit the impressive Cape of Good Hope, see a lively penguin colony, sample fine wines in the Wine Region and ascend Table Mountain for a panoramic view of the Cape Peninsula. Continue to the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserves for some of the continent's best "Big 5" safaris. A large variety of wildlife can be found in these private reserves that form part of the Greater Kruger National Park eco-system. Luxury accommodation and romantic dining fine dining make for the ultimate luxury safari experience.


Quick Summary

Itinerary Detail

Day 1: Arrive Cape Town

Arrive Cape Town
Arrive Cape Town
Arrive Cape Town
Daily Summary

Upon arrival you will receive our V.I.P. Meet and Assist. As you exit the aircraft door, look for a representative holding a paging board with your name. You will be assisted through Customs & Immigration and then with baggage collection. You will then be escorted to the arrivals halls where you will meet your driver who will take you to your hotel by private vehicle.
NOTE: Should your aircraft park on the apron (not directly at the terminal building), you will be taken by bus to the terminal building. In this case you will be met as you enter the building off the bus.

About Cape Town

Scenically beautiful, Cape Town is a compelling mix of trendy modern and old-world elegance. Glamorous hotels, world-class dining and stunning vistas merge seamlessly with dynamic student suburbs and vibrant nightlife. Malay and African heritage are evident in the cuisine, traditions and entertainment while the architecture reveals a strong Dutch, German and English flavor and style. Contemporary art is proudly displayed in a variety of galleries and modern boutique hotels, and wine bars and brandy tasting lounges will appeal to the fashionable set. With its dramatic ocean vistas, sandy beaches and stunning stretches of hill and fynbos-covered mountainside, the coastal landscape of Cape Town and the Southern Peninsula are truly memorable. Side-walk cafes and vibrant promenades fringe glorious turquoise waters.

Day 2: Cape Town City & Table Mountain Tour

Cape Town City & Table Mountain Tour
Cape Town City & Table Mountain Tour
Cape Town City & Table Mountain Tour
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Cape Town City & Table Mountain Tour
  • Accommodation: Cape Grace Hotel
  • Meals: B

Cape Town City & Table Mountain Tour

Take the cable car to the top of Table Mountain and let incredible panoramas wow your soul. A short hike later, having left the crowds behind, we peer down at the fascinating city sprawled out before us, and view magnificent stretches of ocean. Over freshly brewed coffee and home-baked treats, let the stories of Cape Town be brought to life by your guide, getting your bearings from this ultimate vantage point.

With a better understanding of the city layout, we descend and wander through the inner city, soaking up the magical vibe of Cape Town, through a combination of tales of the past juxtaposed with modern day culture, and meet some of the absorbing communities which form the town's vital building blocks. Focusing on food, design, arts and crafts we uncover a selection of historical sites, such as Company's Garden, Green Market Square and St George's Cathedral - buildings and monuments which stood as the backdrop for memorable icons who changed the world. Depending on your interests, touch on the fascinating and controversial politics that have shaped the city - delving into recollections of the once-vibrant District 6 community or perhaps the occasion where Mandela made his first free speech.

Continue your exploration heading to the Bo-Kaap, with its brightly colored 17th century houses, cobble stone streets, Muslim shrines and beautiful mosques. Visit local upliftment projects which impact positively on the lives of their artists and crafters and uncover the immense talent born of this city, and exhibited in galleries, street art installations and within the urban regeneration of historical suburbs. Bree Street is a hotspot for artisans, fashion, jewelry and interior design - the air fragrant with the mouth-watering aromas from a variety of foodie gems.

End the day mingling with locals at a cool city haunt, rooftop bar or beach cove, sundowners in hand.

Day 3: Cape Peninsula Tour

Cape Peninsula Tour
Cape Peninsula Tour
Cape Peninsula Tour
Daily Summary

Cape Peninsula Tour

Our tour begins at Kalk Bay, best known for its working fishing harbor and bohemian feel. Browse the arts and crafts on offer, perhaps do a bit of shopping in the quirky fashion boutiques and enjoy the antiques and collectables along the main strip.

Next, we’ll head over to Simon’s Town to for those keen to find out more about the rich history surrounding this naval town, museums and monuments providing plenty of insight. Bringing this naval town to life is an insight into the shark diving industry and stories of Just Nuisance - Great Dane, WWII mascot and only dog ever enlisted in the Royal Navy.

Before heading into the Cape Peninsula itself we search for our own rogue penguins - a splinter colony away from the crowded boardwalks over the main breeding site - on a beach known only to locals. Our tour ends with a gentle hike in the Cape Peninsula Reserve, exploring secluded beaches, shipwrecks and this region’s unique wildlife. The return journey weaves back to Cape Town via Noordhoek Farm Village a food artisan hub of the Peninsula and - time permitting - stopping for a little wine tasting at Cape Point Vineyards, producer of some of South Africa’s finest Sauvignon Blanc.

Day 4: Wine Region Tour

Wine Region Tour
Wine Region Tour
Wine Region Tour
Daily Summary

Wine Region Tour

We explore one of the most scenically beautiful areas in SA, visiting fascinating towns and taking a look into off-the-beaten-track farms which revel in their old-world roots and influences. Today is about so much more than just sipping the wines. Depending on time and season, stroll through the vines, learning about farming methods and techniques. Take an intimate wine-tasting and cellar tour and possibly meet the driving force behind the estate. If lucky, our behind-the-scenes experience could include grape picking or barrel tastings.

Spend time in Stellenbosch, browsing through its wealth of appealing stores and museums and sip local coffee blends in tempting cafes. Let the pairing of wine and olives awaken your senses before we meander through lush gardens bursting with life. Admire a collection of contemporary art, see the highest-growing vines and, from an elevated point, take in the stunning vistas over an old-world estate.

This afternoon, discover Franschhoek. Established by the French Huguenots in 1688, this town retains its historic charm but has fused it with a contemporary vibe. It boasts gourmet restaurants, appealing boutiques and art galleries.

Day 5: Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve

Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Daily Summary
  • Transfer: Depart Cape Town
  • Domestic Flights: Flight Cape Town - Kruger/Mpumalanga
  • Domestic Flights: Flight to Sabi Sand Game Reserve
  • Transfer: Transfer from airstrip to lodge
  • Accommodation: Leopard Hills Safari Lodge
  • Meals: B, L, D
Flight Cape Town - Kruger/Mpumalanga
Regular scheduled flight Cape Town to Kruger/Mpumalanga Airport
NOT INCLUDED IN LAND PRICE
Flight to Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Shared light aircraft flight to the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve.
Aircraft may make stops en route.

Today you are taken by private vehicle to Cape Town Airport.

You are met at your airstrip and taken to your lodge. Keep your eyes peeled for game viewing en route!

Sabi Sand Game Reserve

The Sabi Sand Game Reserve is a 65 000 hectare reserve, pioneered by the land-owners of the area in the 1950’s, when the internal fences were dropped and a shared environmental management program was put in place. The Reserve shares a 32 mile unfenced boundary with the Kruger National Park. The wildlife in the Sabi Sand Reserve is well habituated resulting in unforgettable close encounters and prolific sightings, particularly of the elusive leopard. The Sabi and the Sand Rivers run through the reserve, which add further dimension to the bio-diversity of this area.


Days 6 - 8: Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve

On safari in the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve
On safari in the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve
On safari in the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve
Daily Summary

On safari in the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve

Your time on safari will been carefully planned around the best game viewing opportunities. The more productive times to enjoy game viewing are first thing in the morning before the heat of the day kicks in, and late afternoon as the day starts to cool down ensuring further animal movement. Not only do you get to see amazing wildlife on your morning drive, but you will enjoy a steaming cup of coffee and muffins in the middle of the African bush, while welcoming the new day. On your late afternoon drive you will stop at a special site to watch the sun set and toast to a spectacular days safari.

Day 9: Depart

Daily Summary
  • Transfer: Transfer to airstrip
  • Domestic Flights: Flight Sabi Sand Game Reserve to Johannesburg
  • Meals: B
Flight Sabi Sand Game Reserve to Johannesburg
Flying time to Johannesburg is approximately 1.5 hours. The aircraft may make stops at other camps en route.
Exact depart and arrival times will be confirmed on the day.

After your morning game drive and breakfast, you are transferred to the airstrip in time for your flight.

Accommodation

Cape Grace Hotel
Cape Grace Hotel

Cape Grace Hotel

Situated on a private quay between Cape Town’s bustling V&A Waterfront and the tranquil yacht marina, there is no better place to soak in the natural beauty and essence of Cape Town living at its finest. The hotel's elegant and luxurious atmosphere is evident in every fine detail, from the welcoming reception lounge, to the spacious harbor and mountain facing rooms. Stories of the Cape’s colorful past present themselves in the exquisite furniture, rare fabrics, intriguing artifacts and original antiques. Local paintings and sculptures lend a contemporary flair to the decor, while fresh displays of Proteas enrich each room with romance.

Leopard Hills Safari Lodge
Leopard Hills Safari Lodge
Leopard Hills Safari Lodge

Leopard Hills Safari Lodge

Located in the western sector of the renowned Sabi Sand Game Reserve, bordering the world famous Kruger National Park, Leopard Hills is perfectly set on a rocky outcrop, offering magnificent views over the bush and an active waterhole on the plains below. The Reserve comprises over 10,000 hectares of incredibly diverse ecosystems making Leopard Hills the ideal destination to view plentiful game in its natural habitat. Here the ‘Big 5’ (elephant, lion, rhino, buffalo and leopard) abound and viewing them at close proximity is a specialty.

Why Maxim Tours?

Why Maxim Tours?

Uncommon Safaris for Discerning Adventurers

Experience Matters

Since 1993 Maxim Tours’ passion for exotic destinations has made us a highly sought after Boutique Tour Operator for discerning travelers. After three decades we continue to exceed our clients' expectations. Our approach over these many years is simple; offer the very best service and travel experience at the most competitive prices while balancing the importance of sustainable tourism with a high quality travel product.

Premier Guides 

Maxim Tours' guides have a reputation for being the best in the business. Experts in their fields, friendly and interesting,  a good guide will bring the most out of every excursion while creating lifelong memories.  

24/7 Support

At no time during your adventure will you be alone. Our local partners are available 24/7 in the event you need any assistance while traveling. We will monitor your progress and take care of any unexpected developments so that your trip continues unhindered.

Responsible Tourism

Responsible and sustainable tourism should be more than just a phrase - it has to be an ongoing and tangible commitment to balancing tourism with the upliftment of local communities and preservation of the natural environment. Maxim Tours actively supports camps and lodges whose business models reflect this commitment.