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13 nights
from £5795

Classic South Africa

A luxury escorted tour including Cape Town, the Garden Route & three nights at Shamwari Game Reserve

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  • Wildlife Tours/ Natural World
  • Humpback Whale at Hermanus

South Africa is one of the most naturally beautiful and culturally diverse countries on earth with extraordinary wildlife, breathtaking landscapes and a fascinating, yet tumultuous history that has helped to shape the country’s identity. There is a staggering variety to enjoy here and our escorted tour will focus on Cape Town and its surrounds, the legendary Garden Route, a stretch of over 200 kilometres of coast from Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to Storms River in the Eastern Cape, and a journey inland to the superb Shamwari Game Reserve. Malaria free and home to the Big Five, we will enjoy numerous game drives here and hope to experience close encounters with white rhino, elephants and lions as well as the more elusive black rhino, cheetah and leopard.

We begin our stay at a waterfront hotel in Cape Town from where we will explore this vibrant city and the enchanting temperate valleys of the Cape Winelands with the opportunity to sample some excellent wines. Continue on to Hermanus, the Riviera of the South for a whale watching tour and time to enjoy this relaxed seaside resort before we head along the picturesque Garden Route where few fail to be seduced by the glorious natural beauty and incredible coastal vistas. From our base at Knysna, with its beautiful lagoon, we will visit sleepy coastal towns, historic Mossel Bay and enjoy scenic drives through indigenous forests. We then enter the Xhosa heartland of the Eastern Cape for our three night safari experience. Acclaimed as ‘The World’s Leading Conservation Company and Game Reserve’ for over ten consecutive years, Shamwari offers a fantastic game viewing experience - years of conservation efforts have returned the land back to the wildlife that once roamed freely here – and provides a wonderful finale to our journey.

During this tour we will be staying at a range of beautiful, hand-picked accommodations and we will enjoy the fine wines, world-class food and wonderful African hospitality for which this region is so renowned. 

Useful links & Travel Advice

Please find a selection of useful websites to refer to for information from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, on visa requirements, NHS travel health advice and other useful travel tips.  

Classic South Africa

Classic South Africa


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Day 1 - London to Cape Town, South Africa.

Fly by scheduled flight to Cape Town.

Day 2 - Cape Town

On arrival into Cape Town transfer to the Table Bay Hotel, our base for the next four nights. The rest of the day is at leisure before we meet in the evening to enjoy our Welcome Dinner in a local restaurant.
Accommodation & Dining: Table Bay Hotel (D)

Day 3 - Half Day Cape Town City Tour & Table Mountain.

After breakfast we depart for our city tour. We visit the Castle of Good Hope, built in 1666 by the Dutch East India Company, and drive past famous landmarks such as the City Hall, the Grand Parade and the famous Adderley Street where we will see St. George’s Cathedral: The Anglican Diocese of Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu. We stop at the Company’s Gardens which was originally created in the 1650s by the region’s first European settlers and provided fertile ground to grow fresh produce to replenish ships rounding the Cape. We then head to the Malay Quarter which is situated on the slopes of Table Mountain where slaves were settled. We continue to Table Mountain where we ascend to the top (weather permitting) by the revolving cable car. Here we will see phenomenal views including Robben Island. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure and dinner at a nearby restaurant.
Accommodation & Dining: Table Bay Hotel (B, D)

Day 4 - Full Day Cape Peninsula Tour.

Enjoy breakfast in the hotel before we depart for our full day Cape Point tour, exploring Cape Town’s stunning peninsula. We travel through the vibrant coastal suburb of Sea Point with its famous promenade and on to the upmarket, pristine beaches of Clifton and Camp’s Bay. We head to the famous Cape Point Nature Reserve at the very tip of the peninsula. The road twists its way to Simon’s Town, home to the Boulders Beach penguin colony, and through the eclectic fishing village of Kalk Bay and surfer heaven Muizenberg. Return to the hotel for an evening at leisure.
Accommodation & Dining: Table Bay Hotel (B)

Day 5 - Full Day Kirstenbosch & Winelands Tour.

Our tour starts with a stop at the beautiful Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden. We then head to the country’s principal wine routes of Franschhoek and Stellenbosch – both of them with fascinating histories and their unique offerings. Journey through stunning landscapes, stopping along the way for wine tasting at prestigious estates. South Africa is known for its quality white, reds, blends, and sparkling wines. We will take a picnic lunch at a wine farm and end the day by exploring the small town of Stellenbosch.
Accommodation & Dining: Table Bay Hotel (B, L)

Day 6 - Stony Point & Hermanus.

After breakfast we make our way to Hermanus. En-route, enjoy a visit to Stony Point. Stony Point Nature Reserve is located in the quaint coastal town of Betty’s Bay in the Overberg and is home to one of the largest successful breeding colonies of African Penguin in the world. Stony Point offers the public the chance to see these wonderful flightless birds up close, via the boardwalk through the colony, which allows the public to observe the penguins go about their daily activities in their natural habitat, without disturbing or disrupting them. Continue on to Hermanus, which lies on the south coast of the Western Cape along Walker Bay, stopping for lunch en-route. Hermanus is considered the world’s best land based destination for whale watching. Southern right whales swim from Antarctica every year to breed and rear their young, making Walker Bay their home from about July to December. The famous Hermanus Cliff Path provides visitors with exceptional views of these gentle giants which can sometimes come within 10 metres of the coast. The daily arrival of whales is heralded by the Whale Crier who sounds his horn to broadcast their arrival during season. Hermanus is not just about whale watching, this bohemian town has a vibrant cafe culture and many restaurants. The largest beach in Hermanus is Grotto Beach which has been given the prestigious “Blue Flag” beach status. Upon arrival check in to The Marine Hotel for our two night stay and enjoy an evening at leisure.
Accommodation & Dining: The Marine Hotel (B, L)

Day 7 - Hermanus

This morning we enjoy a boat-based whale watching excursion (weather permitting). Offering an exciting and memorable whalewatching experience, Southern Right Charters departs daily from New Harbour in Hermanus to cruise Walker Bay, a popular destination for whales. The purpose-built catamaran promises a comfortable cruise, onboard whale specialists and fantastic photographic opportunities of these magnificent creatures. With a permit allowing the boat to approach within 50 metres of the whales, the boat offers indoor and outdoor seating as well as transparent blinds so that no one misses a second of the action. The rest of the day will be at leisure for you to enjoy land based whale watching and explore the town of Hermanus. Dinner is at a local restaurant this evening.
Accommodation & Dining: The Marine Hotel (B, D)

Day 8 - Knysna via Mossel Bay.

This morning we journey from Hermanus to Knysna. En-route we stop in Mossel Bay where we visit arguably the oldest post office in Africa, the Post Office Tree, and the site of the first landfall made by the Portuguese explorer Bartholomeus Dias in 1488. We continue to Knysna which is situated along the Garden Route in the Western Cape and check in at the Turbine Boutique Hotel for our two night stay. The forested town of Knysna grew around its large, warm-watered lagoon which is a protected marine reserve. Outdoor features like beaches, rivers, mountains and lakes orbit around the town and with it a whole host of activities. The Knysna Heads is a mammoth attraction of sheer cliffs that guard the entry into the lagoon; many ships have perished in an attempt to sail past the heads, and today scuba divers can still see the remnants of the Paquita that sank in 1903. A paved pathway leads to the top of the eastern head and makes a terrific viewpoint and spectacular photos. The town itself is an amalgamation of wealth and bohemian artistry with something for everyone. Dinner is at a local restaurant this evening.
Accommodation & Dining: Turbine Boutique Hotel (B, D)

Day 9 - Featherbed Nature Reserve.

After breakfast we take the ferry to Knysna’s famous Featherbed Nature Reserve with its abundance of plant, bird and small wildlife, including the rare blue duiker, and a variety of marine life from dolphins to seals and, in season, whales. Once ashore, the 2.2 kilometre trail winds its way through Milkwood Forests up to steep sandstone cliffs overlooking the ocean. It also meanders past ancient Khoi sea caves and through indigenous wilderness. On completion of the trail we head to the restaurant set on the edge of the lagoon for a sumptuous buffet lunch. Enjoy the rest of the day to explore the Knysna Waterfront.
Accommodation & Dining: Turbine Boutique Hotel (B, L)

Please note that due to the Knysna fire in 2017 the Featherbed excursion may not operational by November 2018. If this is the case we will substitute it with a lagoon cruise with lunch on board.

Day 10 - Tsitsikamma National Park & Shamwari Game Reserve.

After breakfast, depart for Shamwari Game Reserve. En-route enjoy a visit to Tsitsikamma National Park. The Storms River Mouth in the Tsitsikamma forms part of the Garden Route National Park. This is one of South Africa’s most diverse and protected natural areas that is a narrow band of about 150 kilometres along the South Cape Coast. There are rich marine protected areas, deep gorges, rock pools and waterfalls; it is pure and natural nirvana. One of the many highlights in this area is the 77 metre long suspension bridge that crosses the Storms River Mouth. This bridge is famous in this part of the world and has striking gorge views. This suspension bridge sways a little in the wind and is an exhilarating experience. Continue on to Shamwari Private Game Reserve and check in to Bayethe Lodge for our three night stay. We arrive in time for an afternoon game drive in search of the Big Five.
Accommodation & Dining: Bayethe Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 11 - Shamwari Private Game Reserve.

Shamwari Private Game Reserve, situated in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, is steeped in pioneer history, dating back to a time when a multitude of game roamed wild and free. Boasting five eco-systems, Shamwari is home to Africa’s Big Five (elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard) and is malaria free. The 25,000 hectare reserve is also one of the most successful private conservation initiatives in Southern Africa and has received numerous international awards, including the World’s Leading Conservation Company and Game Reserve for many consecutive years. Enjoy morning and afternoon game activities.
Accommodation & Dining: Bayethe Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 12 - Shamwari Private Game Reserve.

Today can be spent enjoying the game activities on offer, visiting one of the animal centres or simply relaxing in the luxurious lodge and enjoying the wonderful surroundings.
Accommodation & Dining: Bayethe Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 13 - Port Elizabeth to London.

After our final morning game drive we transfer to Port Elizabeth for the return indirect flight to London. (B)

Day 14 - London.

Arrive London.

Dates and Prices

Prices per person based on double occupancy
18 November 2018 to 1 December 2018
Category Price
Twin £5795
Single £7395
18 November 2019 to 1 December 2019
Category Price
Twin £6495
Single £8295

Tour Reference Code: LACLASSIC181118/LACLASSIC181119

PRICE INCLUDES: Economy class scheduled air travel • Four nights at Table Bay Hotel, Cape Town in a Luxury Mountain Room • Two nights at The Marine, Hermanus in a Double Room • Two nights at Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa, Knysna in a Standard Room • Three nights at Bayethe Lodge, Shamwari Game Reserve in a Superior Tent • Meals as listed (B - Breakfast, L - Lunch, D – Dinner) • Excursions • Gratuities • Tour Manager • Local Guides • Airport taxes.

Not Included: Travel insurance, visas, donations for optional visits at Shamwari Game Reserve. 

Classic South Africa


  • The Table Bay Hotel Lounge
    The Table Bay Hotel Lounge
  • The Marine Hermanus Cocktail Bar
    The Marine Hermanus Cocktail Bar
  • The Marine Hotel and Walker Bay
    The Marine Hermanus
  • The Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa, Knysna
    The Turbine - Standard Room
  • Bayethe Lodge, Shamwari Game Reserve
    Shamwari Bayethe Tented Lodge Pool Deck Area
  • Bayethe Lodge, Shamwari Game Reserve
    Shamwari Bayethe Tented Lodge Exterior
  • Table Bay Hotel, Cape Town

    Table Bay Hotel, Cape Town

    Situated in Cape Town’s picturesque working harbour and with direct access to the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, with its many shops and restaurants, the Table Bay Hotel is an extremely convenient base for your stay in Cape Town. The views of the Atlantic Ocean are spectacular and you can watch ships come and go in the harbour with Table Mountain towering in the background. The hotel was opened in May 1997 by former South African president, Nelson Mandela and has won numerous accolades and is a Member of The Leading Hotels of the World. The Table Bay is a classic five-star hotel with a nautical feel and all of the elegant 329 rooms feature thoughtful touches such as separate bathtubs and showers, bathrobes and slippers, tea and coffee making facilities, minibar, 24-hour room service, complimentary Wi-Fi and LCD TVs with satellite channels. Other facilities available to guests include the Camelot Spa, a gym, an outdoor pool, The Lounge and Union Bar. Dining options include the Camissa Brasserie, serving gourmet dishes that reflect South Africa’s diverse cultural heritage, the Atlantic Grill, with its incredible buffet breakfast and, for the ultimate in refinement, there is High Tea served in The Lounge. 

  • The Marine, Hermanus

    The Marine, Hermanus

    The Marine is one of South Africa’s most spectacular seaside hotels. Located on Hermanus’ famous cliff path, overlooking the breathtaking Walker Bay in the Western Cape’s Overberg region, the hotel is the ultimate location for whale watching during whale season. Guests are spoilt with impeccable service, exceptional cuisine, fine wines, relaxing spa treatments and luxuriously appointed hotel rooms and suites. The Pavilion Restaurant offers an elegant dining experience with ocean views, contemporary decor, international and local cuisine and a well-stocked wine cellar. The Seafood Restaurant offers diners a more relaxed dining atmosphere where fresh seafood can be enjoyed for lunch and dinner. The Sun Lounge has a welcoming atmosphere and is a comfortable setting for casual drinks and afternoon tea. In the evenings, the most beautiful selection of cocktails, South African wines and champagne can be enjoyed here. Each comfortable guest rooms features an en-suite bathroom, in-room safe, air-conditioning and under-floor heating. A welcome bottle of wine, coffee and tea service, bathrobe and slippers and complimentary Wi-Fi are also provided.

  • The Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa, Knysna

    The Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa, Knysna

    The Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa is five-star hotel in Knysna offering luxurious accommodation, exceptional cuisine and stunning panoramas. An ambitious project transformed an old power station into a unique hotel, and all the old machinery which was used in the power station has been lovingly restored and forms an integral part of the hotel’s aesthetics. With an emphasis on natural light, each of the 26 rooms is designed to combine elegance and flair with comfort and relaxation and features a flat screen TV, Wi-Fi, a fully-stocked mini bar and a tea and coffee station. The Island Cafe Restaurant overlooks the stunning canal, and serves up extraordinary dishes from a diverse à la carte menu. The Gastro Pub and Deck serves a variety of pub-style snacks and enables guests to enjoy watching the sun go down whilst sipping on something from the extensive drinks menu. There is also the Col’Cacchio pizzeria which produces mouthwatering Italian cuisine. The Turbine Spa is one of the finest on the Garden Route offering guests a wide variety of relaxing treatments from massages to facials and a Rhassoul Steam Room.

  • Bayethe Lodge, Shamwari Game Reserve

    Bayethe Lodge, Shamwari Game Reserve

    Bayethe Lodge is one of five luxurious accommodation facilities situated throughout Shamwari Game Reserve, however, as Shamwari is a private game reserve, it means that only Shamwari vehicles traverse through the reserve and guests can enjoy a more traditional and exclusive safari experience. There are only 12 tents at Bayethe Lodge, each nestled away in the vegetation to ensure privacy and seclusion, the ideal place to spend your down time before game drives, taking a dip in your private plunge pool or relaxing on your deck. All of the rooms have fitted international adaptors, international dial telephones, electric blankets and hairdryers and the living area has Wi-Fi, a business desk with a computer and internet access. The main lodge also has a large swimming pool and indoor and outdoor dining area. The restaurant offers a great array of cuisine including some themed nights. One of the most popular is the ‘braai’ night, a traditional South African barbecue. There is also a central lounge with TV and a gift boutique. Two game drives are included daily and visits to the following can also be arranged on request:

    Animal Rehabilitation Centre/Animal Hospital

    The Shamwari rehabilitation centre is amongst the best in Southern Africa and is fully registered to provide veterinary care to young, abandoned, orphaned or injured animals. On arrival you will be met by a member of this caring team who will show you the facilities and explain what it is that they do. During the recovery phase, “patients” are kept in custom built bomas. Provided there are patients in care, an opportunity to meet them should arise during your visit. The animal rehabilitation centre operates on donations only, therefore no entrance fee is requested, but a monetary donation will be much appreciated.

    Dr Ian Player Rhino Awareness Centre

    The Dr Ian Player Rhino Awareness Centre, was created in conjunction with the Wilderness Foundation to highlight the devastating effect of rhino poaching which South Africa and the rest of the continent is facing. The centre offers guests the opportunity to learn about the plight of the rhino and more about these magnificent endangered animals, as well as the many conservation and anti-poaching activities presently underway at Shamwari Game Reserve.

    Born Free Foundation, Animal Rescue & Education Centre

    In partnership with actress and conservationist, Virginia McKenna’s Born Free Foundation, Shamwari Game Reserve designed the Animal Rescue and Education Centre to incorporate a museum and educational facility with the goal to create awareness of the horrific way in which wildlife is exploited in captivity around the world. Over the years the Born Free Foundation has been able to rescue several big cats from situations where they focused on promoting the conservation of species and the protection of habitat whilst maintaining a humane and compassionate approach to the welfare of animals. The Born Free Foundation is a registered charity and therefore solely relies on donations. No entry fees are charged, but a monetary donation is requested.

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