Road Scholar : Home
South Africa Wildlife Safari and the Garden Route

Program Number: 19398RJ
Start and End Dates:
3/5/2014 - 3/19/2014; 3/3/2016 - 3/17/2016; 8/18/2016 - 9/1/2016; 9/22/2016 - 10/6/2016; 10/20/2016 - 11/3/2016;
Duration: 14 nights
Location: South Africa
Price starting at: $5,899.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 33; 12 Breakfasts, 3 Brunches, 8 Lunches, 10 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Learn about the diverse beauty, turbulent past, dynamic present and hopeful future of South Africa on a journey from its capital to its coastlines. Search for the Big Five and more on game drives and walking safaris. Experience the cultures of Johannesburg and Cape Town. Journey along the coast and through fertile vineyards on the magnificent Garden Route.


ē Search for elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and cape buffalo in the greater Kruger National Park.
ē Revel in the scenic beauty of the Cape Winelands and sample some of the regionís wines.
ē Learn about the unique fynbos environment of the Cape Floristic Region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Activity Particulars

Bumpy, dusty game drives in open-air safari vehicles; require stamina, flexibility, stability. Walking up to two miles on paved, possibly uneven paths.

Program limited to 18 participants. Off of select departures, extend your travels with program #19499, Extension: Victoria Falls and Chobe. Some dates of program #19398 can be taken back-to-back with program #3645, Wild Africa: Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Date Specific Information

8-18-2016, 9-22-2016

Post-program extension #19499 "Extension: Victoria Falls and Chobe" is offered in conjunction with this departure.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Johannesburg, 2 nights; flight to Port Elizabeth, coach to the Garden Route, 2 nights; coach to Oudtshoorn, 1 night; coach to Hermanus, 1 night; coach to Cape Town, 3 nights; flight to Hoedspruit; coach to Kruger National Park area, 3 nights; flight to Johannesburg for departure; overnight flight.

Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Johannesburg
2 nights

Visit Soweto and the Apartheid Museum to gain insight into South Africaís tumultuous past, and hear a presentation on the countryís political history.

Flight to Port Elizabeth
Coach to the Garden Route
2 nights

In Tsitsikamma National Park, discover the rich bio-diversity of the indigenous forest area. At Featherbed Reserve, study the unique ecology of this beautiful reserve as you walk along the lagoon. Learn about the area's history while exploring unique historical buildings.

Coach to Oudtshoorn
1 night
Coach to Hermanus
1 night

Explore the role of early Portuguese explorers in the history of South Africa. Meet students at the Green Futures Horticulture and Life Skills College and learn what they are doing to help save South Africaís unique fynbos vegetation. In the Cape Winelands, explore the historic town of Stellenbosch and enjoy a gourmet lunch at a local vineyard.

Coach to Cape Town
3 nights

During three days in vibrant Cape Town, discover the cityís sights and sounds through visits to a variety of grassroots, sustainable projects that aim to help the most marginalized communities in the area. Also explore the natural wonders of Table Mountain, Cape Point, the Cape of Good Hope and Boulder Beach.

Flight to Hoedspruit
Coach to Kruger National Park area 3 nights
Flight to Johannesburg for departure
Overnight flight to the U.S.A.
1 night

Explore the greater Kruger National Park area, with local experts who provide in-depth commentary on species sighted. Learn to identify the smaller creatures of the bush. Lectures here include lion social structure and behavior, the importance of termites to the local ecology, and the endangered rhinoceros.

South Africa

Released from prison in 1990 after 27 years, Nelson Mandela adopted a policy of reconciliation and negotiation that guided South Africaís transition from apartheid into a true democracy. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, he became the first South African to win the presidency in fully representative democratic elections. Todayís visitors find a kaleidoscopic of wildlife rivaled only by the cuisine, art and music of the nationís diverse cultures.

Johannesburg: Modern hotel. Garden Route: Unique log-built lodge in Knysna. Oudtshoorn: cozy guesthouse on a working ostrich farm. Hermanus: Harborside hotel. Cape Town: Waterfront hotel. Kruger National Park area: Luxury tented safari camp.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Helen Malisan

Helen Malisanís passion for exploration began in high school when she visited Italy, her ancestral country. After completing her final year at school, she immediately joined South African Airways where she worked for 10 years. In 1993, her love for nature and South Africa inspired her to complete the necessary courses to become a wilderness excursion leader, spurring her career as a safari leader in Namibia and Zambia. Helen says her interest in people, nature and animals inspires her work.
Keith Chisnall

A local of northern Zimbabwe, Keith Chisnall relishes in showing the bush culture to travelesers from around the world. As a child, Keith learned the medicinal value of bush plants, how to track animals, tribal customs and the indigenous flora and fauna, and his knowledge has only grown since then. Heís worked as an engineer, salesman and detective, but his most meaningful work has been in leading educational adventures. After over 20 years of experience leading groups in ďBig FiveĒ territory, you can rely on Keith to explain every aspect and every detail of the wilderness!
Johann Roscher

Johann RŲscher was born in South Africa and grew up on State Forestry stations along the coastal belt of the Cape Province. He joined the military and studied at the North West University, earning a bachelorís degree in political science. After traveling through the Middle East and Eastern Europe, he returned to South Africa to work as a socio-political researcher. Disillusioned with city life, Johann decided to change careers and lead safaris. Heís been taking groups on safaris in Kalahari and Okavango Delta for 17 years, and heís never been more content with his choice to move to that beautiful and remote region.
Meals and Lodgings
   Melrose Place Guest Lodge
  Johannesburg, South Africa 2 nights
   Knysna Log Inn
  Garden Route, South Africa 2 nights
   Mooiplaas Guesthouse
  Oudtshoorn, South Africa 1 night
   Harbour House
  Hermanus, South Africa 1 night
   Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge, Waterfront
  Cape Town, South Africa 3 nights
   Honeyguide Camp
  Manyeleti Game Reserve, South Africa 3 nights
 Melrose Place Guest Lodge
Type: Boutique Hotel
  Description: Melrose Place Guest Lodge is an owner-operated, boutique hotel that is conveniently located in the Melrose district of Johannesburg. The lodgeís lush, tranquil gardens are a haven for a wide variety of birdlife, and make for a relaxing and charming environment. The guest lodge is conveniently located near Rosebank center, within walking distance of many shops and restaurants. Melrose Place prides itself in personalized service and attention to detail. This property is truly an oasis in the city.
  Contact info: 12A North Street
Johannesburg,   South Africa
phone: +27 (0)11 442 5231
  Room amenities: Each of the 30 individually decorated en-suite rooms are generously sized and offer very comfortable bedding. Rooms feature their own entrances and patios with secluded views of the shady picturesque gardens. Coffee and tea is offered daily at no additional cost. Rooms feature satellite television as well as a wall safe and a hairdryer.
  Facility amenities: Melrose Place includes a large swimming pool as well as complimentary access to a large, modern fitness center open 24 hours a day. Lunch and dinner are prepared by the resident cook and are available upon request. Onsite laundry and dry cleaning services are also available. Free wireless internet is available in all guest rooms.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: Please phone EXPLORE, Inc. Please phone EXPLORE, Inc. at 888-596-6377 for more information and exact pricing.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Knysna Log Inn
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Built in 1998, the Knysna Log Inn provides accommodations influenced by the city's natural wonders- the sparkling Knysna Estuary and coastline as well as the breathless Outeniqua Mountains. The building itself mirrors its surroundings, using yellow wood logs throughout, slate flooring and natural river rocks as accents. Large stained-glass windows let in plentiful light which illuminates the automnal hues. The Log Inn is centrally located in the heart of Knysna, within walking distance of local amenities and the Knysna Quays.
  Contact info: 16 Gray Street
Knysna,  6571 South Africa
phone: +011-27-(0)44-382-5835
  Room amenities: Each room is equipped with a deck, air-conditioning, ceiling fans, electronic safes, remote control televisions, direct dial telephones, hair dryers and tea/coffee making facilities, as well as full bathroom facilities.
  Facility amenities: The Log Inn boasts a year-round swimming pool surrounded by lush gardens, as well as a Jacuzzi and sauna. A restaurant and bar area are on-site. Fax services are available, as are laundry services, room service and an on-site curio shop (the Inn takes South African Rand and all major credit cards as payment). Wireless is available for your personal device in your room or the reception area. Ask for the password at the reception desk. This service is free of charge.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Mooiplaas Guesthouse
Type: Lodge
  Description: Located on a family-run, working ostrich farm, Mooiplaas Guesthouse offers four-star accommodations in the heart of the Klein (Little) Karoo. All of the 13 suites are located in the main farm house, with views overlooking the farm, valley and Swartberg Mountains in the background. In addition to a tasty and filling breakfast, the guesthouse also offers a dinner menu featuring local recipes.
  Contact info: Volmoed
Western Cape,  6620 South Africa
phone: +27 (0) 44 2794019
  Room amenities: The spacious suites have a lounge area, bedroom and large bathroom with shower, bathtub, hair dryer, as well as air conditioning, safe, honesty mini-bar, and coffee/tea making facilities with free homemade rusks. Rooms have either one king or two twin beds. All rooms include luxury crisp linen bedding, thicker mattresses, custom comforters and fluffier pillows.
  Facility amenities: Amenities at the guesthouse include on-site laundry and free Wi-Fi. The dining room offers fine local cuisine and serves a full breakfast. At night torches are lit and give a warm glow to the evening atmosphere.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Harbour House
Type: Bed and Breakfast
  Description: The Harbour House is ideally situated at the edge of the Old Harbour in Hermanus, which has bustled with fishmongers and other colorful figures since the 1800s. Positioned only a few feet from the ocean's breath, the hotel makes for an ideal spot for keen whale watchers and is only a few minutes walk from the town center. Each of the spacious, modernly-decorated rooms are individually furnished to the highest standard with en-suite bathrooms including a hair dryer, sitting area, balcony, direct satellite televison, kitchenette and contemporary art paintings. The hotel offers a large infinity pool overlooking Walker Bay, enticing meals at the hotel restaurant, as well as a wine bar featuring South African award-winners.
  Contact info: 18 Harbour Road
Hermanus,   South Africa
phone: +011-27-(0)28-312-1799
  Facility amenities: Guests can access the internet free of charge by using a computer available in the business center. To access the internet on your personal device you must pay for wi-fi via credit card; your card is charged according to the amount of time you spend on the internet. On your device, connect to the guest Wi-Fi, click on an internet browser, and enter your information on the payment landing page. Wireless is available in all rooms and hotel areas. For other services, such as laundry amenities and/or items, the Harbour House accepts South African Rand and all major credit cards.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge, Waterfront
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge boasts an enviable location in the heart of the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, an exciting haven for harbor vessels, fishing boats, lounging seals, and travelers looking to see Nobel Square (statues of South Africa's four Nobel Prize winners) or to shop and dine with Cape Town's best. The lodge offers comfortable and stylish accommodation in the ďMother City." Within the hotel, enjoy stunning views of the harbor as well as Table Mountain. This modern, recently refurbished hotel provides a full range of services including multiple eateries, free wireless hotspots throughout the hotel and knowledgeable staff.
  Contact info: Portswood Road
V&A Waterfront
Cape Town,  8001 South Africa
phone: +27 -(0)21-406-1911
  Room amenities: All rooms offer full, en-suite bathroom facilities, air-conditioning, satellite television, radio, direct-dial telephone, coffee/tea making facilities and Wi-Fi internet connectivity.
  Facility amenities: Facility amenities include two on-site restaurants, a coffee/cocktail bar, room service, laundry facilities, fitness center, and business center with computer access. The hotel is within close proximity to several sporting facilities, too, including tennis, squash and golf. Wireless is available at this hotel, including the rooms. The first thirty minutes is free; after that thirty minutes guests must pay for the internet. To connect to wi-fi stop by reception for a voucher and use this voucher to connect on your personal device (alternatively, guest can connect on a hotel computer). For wireless and other miscellaneous charges, the lodge accepts South African Rand and Visa.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Honeyguide Camp
Type: Lodge
  Description: Honeyguide's Mantobeni and Khoka Moya Camps are set among Tamboti trees on the banks of a flowing riverbed. Accommodation is in very spacious and comfortable East African-style tents which are raised on platforms and possess luxurious amenities. Honeyguide is the original tented safari - a real "Out of Africa" experience, with great comfort, excellent food, superb game viewing and outstanding service. The camps are housed in the Manyeleti ("The Place of the Stars" in the local language) Game Reserve with a team of reliable staff who will share the wonders of the reserve with you on safaris.
  Contact info: Manyeleti Game Reserve, Limpopo Province, PO Box 786064
Sandton,  2146 South Africa
phone: +011-27-(0)11-341-0282
  Room amenities: ĀEach spacious East African-style tent is built on a raised platform with approximately five steps leading up. There is a sitting area on the front end of the platform, including a comfortable couch, oversized chair and writing desk with lamp. The bed is in the center of the tent, with a dressing area just behind it. Unzip the back tent wall and there is a covered, walled bathroom area with shower, sunken bathtub, sink and conventional flush toilet. The rooms are not fitted with hair dryers however one is available on request at reception. Each tent also has an electrical strip with common international plug configurations, so no plug adaptor or converter is needed here. A fan provides cool air, and hot water bottles are put in the beds if the temperature is chilly.
  Facility amenities: ĀThe main lodge area consists of a sitting area, library, bar, dining area, and swimming pool, all of which are open to the surrounding bush. The helpful lodge staff provide porterage, wake up calls, and complimentary laundry service. A telephone is available for guest use in the lodge main area. A safe in the manager office is available for guest use. A small curio shop is located on site, and accepts South African rand in cash as payment. The firepit allows guests to relish in the African sunset, warm up during cool weather, and enjoy refreshment with new friends. Lunch and dinner at Honeyguide include the freshest ingredients†for truly sumptuous dishes, such as braised lamb shank or vegetable rolls with sweet pepper (you will be given a choice of plated main course with starters and deserts). In the morning you will be brought tea, coffee, and juice in your tent prior to your game drive; the game drive will include a stop for light refreshments, and once back at camp you are privy to a hearty breakfast. Wi-fi is available at Honeyguide Camps free of charge. Ask a ranger or a manager for the password to use on your personal device. The wireless works in both the common areas and tents. For miscellaneous purchases, Honeyguide accepts Visa and Mastercard in addition to South African rand.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Program begins with a 7:00pm orientation dinner at the lodge in Johannesburg, South Africa. You will be staying at Melrose Place Guest Lodge that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends at 3:30pm at the Johannesburg O.R. Tambo airport following the arrival of the flight from Hoedspruit, South Africa. You will be staying at Honeyguide Camp the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. US passport holders need a minimum of two blank visa pages to visit South Africa (not amendment/endorsement pages at back). Since South Africa requires one additional blank visa page for each country visited, participants opting for the Road Scholar extension #19499 "Victoria Falls and Chobe" need a minimum of 4 blank visa pages - two for South Africa, one for Botswana, and one for Zimbabwe. Canadian citizens need a minimum of four blank pages for South Africa and six blank pages if doing the extension. Each participant must send Explore a signed liability waiver for the program; participants travelling on the extension must also sign a waiver for the extension portion.
  Parking availability:
None needed.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Johannesburg
  Nearest city or town:  Johannesburg
  Nearest highway: R21
  Nearest airport:  Johannesburg International Airport
  Transportation to site: The arrival transfer from Johannesburg O.R. Tambo airport to the first lodge in Johannesburg is provided by hired coach for participants who booked their flights through Road Scholar. Transfer time is approximately 30 minutes. Note that it is not recommended to take taxis in Johannesburg for safety reasons. If you would like help arranging a separate transfer to Melrose Place Guest Lodge, please contact Explore, Inc., the program provider.
  From End of Program
  Location:  At Home
  Transportation from site: Group transfer from the last location to the Hoedspruit airport is included for everyone. The flight from Hoedspruit to Johannesburg is also included in the program price. Upon arrival in Johannesburg you connect to international departures; no further ground transfers are needed unless ongoing travel is planned. Explore can help with ongoing travel arrangements if needed.
Elevation Note: Johannesburg is at 5,575 feet; everywhere else is under 3000 ft.

Equipment Requirements: Suggested equipment: binoculars, camera, flashlight.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Depart the U.S.
(Wednesday, March 5)
 Afternoon: Depart the U.S. on an overnight flight to Johannesburg, South Africa.

Day 2: Arrivals
(Thursday, March 6)
 Afternoon: Arrive Johannesburg where you clear Customs and are met and transferred 30 minutes to Melrose Place Guest Lodge.
 Dinner: At the lodge.
 Evening: Orientation session.
Accommodations: Melrose Place Guest Lodge
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Soweto/ Apartheid Museum
(Friday, March 7)
 Breakfast: At the lodge.
 Morning: This morning, you have a tour of Soweto (SOuth WEstern TOwnship), the largest black residential area in South Africa. This ďcity within a cityĒ consists of 50 suburbs, or sections, and essentially acts as a labor reservoir for the greater metropolitan area of the Witwatersrand. In many ways, the story of Soweto is the story of South Africa. The tour route takes you to all the major points of interest, such as Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Baragwanath taxi rank, Freedom Square, and Hector Peterson Memorial. Overview of South Africa and Apartheid.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant in Soweto.
 Afternoon: After lunch, transfer to the award winning and internationally acclaimed Apartheid Museum, where you walk through the museum with a local guide. This beautiful museum gives a balanced account of 20th century South Africa. It recounts the political upheavals beginning in the last century and moves on to the transition from a racist state into the new era of hope and freedom as a democracy.
 Dinner: At the lodge.
Accommodations: Melrose Place Guest Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Fly to Garden Route/ Marine Life Cruise
(Saturday, March 8)
 Breakfast: At the lodge.
 Morning: Transfer to the Johannesburg airport where you board a commercial flight to Port Elizabeth, along the southern coast. In Port Elizabeth, board your coach and head west along the coast to Plettenberg Bay.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant en-route.
 Afternoon: In Plettenberg Bay, you embark on an eco-marine cruise to observe and learn about dolphins, sharks, whales (whales normally seen on August to November departures only), seals and pelagic birds. The waters outside of Plettenberg Bay are rich in marine life, including: Bottlenose dolphins, Common dolphins, Southern Right dolphins, the rare Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins, Brydes whales, Humpback whales (in season), Cape Fur seals, several species of shark and seabirds. You also observe and discuss the unique geology of the area. Lecture on marine biology. After the cruise, continue heading west to Knysna.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant in Knysna.
 Evening: Stroll through the streets of Knysna or take a walk down to the Knysna Quays.
Accommodations: Knysna Log Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Featherbed Nature Reserve/ Knysna Elephant Park
(Sunday, March 9)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: The Featherbed Nature Reserve, a unique 370 acre private reserve which encompasses the Western Head of Knysna, is also one of South Africa's premier Natural Heritage Sites. The reserve is accessed by a ferry ride across the Knysna Lagoon. Once there, you are driven up to the overlook as your guide discusses the unique ecology of the reserve (20 minute drive); magnificent views over the coastline and estuary are seen from here. From the overlook, an optional 1.5 mile guided walk through the forest, onto the cliffs, and into the caves and along the spectacular coastline is available (note: this hike is strenuous and on uneven terrain with no handholds; you must be agile and wear shoes with good gripping soles). As another option, you can be driven back down to the jetty and walk along the last part of the trail where it is flat and not strenuous.
 Lunch: Buffet picnic lunch under the milkwood trees.
 Afternoon: This afternoon you visit the Knysna Elephant Park, which provides a safe home for elephants in need of one. The park provides a controlled, free-range environment, meaning the elephants are free to graze and wander as they would in the wild, but there are trained handlers around since the elephants live, and interact, with humans on a daily basis. After a briefing by one of the local guides, you are driven through the fields to the elephants. Here you have the opportunity to touch, feed, and photograph the elephants without the hindrances of barriers or fences. A local specialist discusses elephant behavior, anatomy and social structure as you interact with the gentle giants. You also have the chance to discuss the plight of the nearby Knysna Forest Elephants, and how they relate to elephants in other parts of Africa.
 Dinner: On your own to explore local fare. Many restaurants are within an easy and safe walking distance from the hotel.
 Evening: Time at leisure to relax or explore the streets of Knysna on your own.
Accommodations: Knysna Log Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: Mossel Bay/ Klein Karoo
(Monday, March 10)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Depart Knysna early in the morning and continue west through the scenic natural environment of the Wilderness Lakes area to historic Mossel Bay. Here you visit the Bartolomeu Dias Museum Complex, named for the Portuguese man who was the first explorer to set foot on South African soil on February 3, 1488 in what is now Mossel Bay. The museum holds a wealth of information, and provides interesting insight into the Portuguese contribution to the early development of South Africa. You have the opportunity to board its central exhibit, a replica of an original Caravel sailing ship. On these same grounds are historic sites such as the famous ďPost Office Tree,Ē which has been declared a national monument since it is South Africaís first post office and first site of Christian worship, as well as early slave graves. Your group leader discusses Significant Colonial Influences in the Early Development of South Africa.
 Lunch: Light lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Following lunch, head to Cape St. Blaize Cave, an important archaeological site that was first excavated in the late 1800s, making it one of South Africaís earliest archaeological excavations. Early San (also known as Khoi-khoi or Khoisan) people inhabited the cave, and findings within the cave have helped archaeologists piece together early human life in the region. The cave also provides great views over the ocean, and is a popular viewpoint for whale (in season) and dolphin watching. Depart Mossel Bay in the mid-afternoon and head over the nearby Outeniqua Mountains to the contrastingly different Garden Route environment of the Klein (Little) Karoo. You spend the night in Oudtshoorn, the ďostrich capitalĒ of the world, at Mooiplaas Guesthouse, a working ostrich farm with a beautiful view of the nearby Swartberg Mountain range.
 Dinner: At the guesthouse's restaurant which serves typical country fare.
Accommodations: Mooiplaas Guesthouse
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Grootbos Nature Reserve/ Fynbos
(Tuesday, March 11)
 Breakfast: At the guesthouse.
 Morning: Depart Oudtshoorn traveling through the scenic Klein Karoo via the "country route," negotiating the Huis River Pass before taking a rest break at one of the many charming little towns along the way. After traversing the impressive Tradouw Pass over the Langeberg Mountains, spend the remainder of the morning traveling through the rolling farm lands of the Overberg, arriving at Grootbos Reserve in time for lunch.
 Lunch: At Grootbos, you enjoy fresh fish, succulent meats, and home-grown vegetables, all enhanced with flavors from the flourishing herb garden. Prepared with innovative flair, presented with brilliance and color, and served in a restaurant with unbeatable views, a Grootbos meal is an unbeatable experience.
 Afternoon: You take a walk through Grootbosí ancient milkwood forest, where thousand-year old trees send exploratory branches in search of sunlight, before continuing on to visit the Green Futures Horticulture and Life Skills College. The Green Futures College was founded by Grootbos in order to conserve the unique biodiversity of the area. The college trains unemployed and unskilled people from the surrounding villages in the science of horticulture, specifically in the preservation of fynbos vegetation. You meet some of these students and plant a tree with the group before departing. Lecture on the unique fynbos given by your group leader. Afterward, you transfer a short distance to Hermanus for your overnight stay.
 Dinner: On your own account to explore local fare. There are numerous restaurant choices within a short and safe walking distance from the hotel.
Accommodations: Harbour House
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8: Cape Winelands
(Wednesday, March 12)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Head through the scenic Winelands countryside to Stellenbosch. A short city tour orients you to Stellenbosch and its history, after which you have time to explore this small town on your own. Many of the town's historical landmarks are within easy walking distance of the town center. An interesting stop is the Village Museum, where four restored historical houses trace the history of Stellenbosch and its famous architecture. Discover some of the regionís tasty products during a wine tasting at a local winery. Hear a lecture on the areaís architecture, history and viniculture.
 Lunch: At a local winery.
 Afternoon: Depart towards Cape Town. En-route to the hotel, you have a city orientation tour which takes you to the historic Company Gardens, the colorful Bo Kaap community, and the District 6 area which remains a poignant example of the forced-removal era of apartheid. Continue on to your hotel in the heart of the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
Accommodations: Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge, Waterfront
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Table Mountain/ Cape Peninsula/ Boulders Beach
(Thursday, March 13)

Note: At the Cape of Good Hope, you have the option of walking up steep steps to get to the lighthouse at the very top; however, great views can be enjoyed without climbing the steps. At Boulders Beach, the coach must park in a parking lot that requires about a 15-20 minute walk to get to the entrance to Boulders; the walk is on flat, paved surfaces.

 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: After breakfast at the hotel, head straight to Table Mountain. Take a cable car ride up the steep granite slopes of Table Mountain (weather permitting) to see the splendid views of the city and peninsula; it is perhaps one of the most magnificent views in the southern hemisphere. After descending the mountain, depart toward Cape Point via the coastal route passing through Camps Bay (South Africaís world famous beach resort), past the Twelve Apostle Range, through Hout Bay and along Chapmanís Peak Drive, one of the most spectacular coastal roads to be found in Africa. Arrive at the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. Cape Point, the confluence of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, is one of the worldís most beautiful places Ė a stretch of rocky mountain jutting southward into the sea. Here you find a myriad of pristine beaches, sheltered bays and coves, as well as a rich array of indigenous flora. The fynbos reserve (a unique vegetation type of the Cape Floral Kingdom) is home to a variety of wildlife and bird species. Whales (dependant on season), penguins and seals may be spotted from this point.
 Lunch: A picnic lunch is taken at a scenic spot.
 Afternoon: Stop off at Boulders Beach to view the resident African penguin colony. Nestled in a sheltered cove between Simon's Town and Cape Point, Boulders has become world famous for its thriving colony of African penguins and magnificent wind-sheltered beaches. Boulders is one of the few sites where this vulnerable bird (Spheniscus demersus) can be observed at close range, wandering freely in a protected environment. Lecture: African (Jackass) Penguins. Head back to the hotel for the late afternoon at leisure.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge, Waterfront
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Interaction with Township Locals/ Free Time
(Friday, March 14)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Visit several grassroots, community-based projects through Uthando South Africa, a non-profit organization that gives back to the community. Visits to these projects are done on a non-commercialized, authentic and interactive basis with a view to a genuine and meaningful interaction. Projects visited may include (but are not limited to): Volcano Arts Project, founded by Mandlesizwe Lufele and other concerned community youths who are committed to community development and empowerment through arts, culture and life skills training; Hout Bay Music Project or Jikeleza Dance Project, both of which aim to develop self-confidence, life skills and performance skills in the children within the projects; Abalimi Bezekhaya (the Planters of the Home), a non-profit organization working to improve sustainable food production and environmental greening amongst the poor in Cape Town; Neighbourhood Old Age Home (NOAH), where you spend some time with a vibrant group of ďoldiesĒ during one of their social gatherings; Home from Home, which provides foster care for orphans, abandoned and vulnerable children; or Mandela Park Mosaics, T-Bag Designs, and Iziko Lo Lwazi, community-based initiatives where beauty is created out of every day objects. Exact projects visited to be determined.
 Lunch: On your own account to explore local fare.
 Afternoon: Free time with many optional activities to choose from.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant specializing in Cape Malay cuisine.
Accommodations: Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge, Waterfront
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11: Transfer to Manyeleti Game Reserve/ Game Drive
(Saturday, March 15)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer to the Cape Town airport where you board your commercial flight to Kruger-Mpumalanga Airport in the greater Kruger National Park area.
 Lunch: Packed lunch provided.
 Afternoon: Upon arrival in the early afternoon, you are met and transferred by minivan approximately two hours to Honeyguide Mantobeni Camp in Manyeleti Game Reserve. Manyeleti Game Reserve occupies a prime position on the western border of the world-renowned Kruger National Park. Manyeleti may be explored in open game viewing vehicles, or on foot under the guidance of armed and experienced guides. The reserve boasts a large number of lion, buffalo, rhino, cheetah, leopard, wild dog, zebra, giraffe, a healthy elephant and hippo population, and a variety of antelope species as well as prolific bird life. Arrive Mantobeni Camp where you have time to settle in before tea and snacks are served. During tea time, your group leader gives a lecture on lion social structure and behavior. Afterwards, embark on your first game drive within Manyeleti in search of the "Big Five" and other wildlife resident in the reserve. Sundowner drinks and snacks are served at a scenic spot as you watch the sunset.
 Dinner: Enjoy a delicious meal prepared by the resident chef.
 Evening: Spend the evening stargazing in Manyeleti, which means "place of the stars" in Shangaan.
Accommodations: Honeyguide Camp
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Game Drive/ Termites
(Sunday, March 16)
 Breakfast: Wake to the sound of beating drums followed by early morning coffee/tea served in the tents.
 Morning: Morning game drive in search of the Big Five.
 Brunch: A delicious and filling brunch is served following the morning game drive. Afterwards, you can relax at the pool, participate in a short foot safari with one of the guides or view passing game at the waterhole next to the camp. On the foot safari you learn to identify tracks, spoor, and other signs to discern the small things of the bush.
 Afternoon: Afternoon tea and snacks are served, during which time your group leader gives a lecture on termites and their importance to the ecology of the area. Following tea, the evening safari departs; explore the area with in-depth interpretation from your guides. Sundowners at a scenic spot.
 Dinner: Dinner taken in the open-air dining area at the lodge.
 Evening: Spend the evening in the boma around the fire, in discussion with your fellow participants.
Accommodations: Honeyguide Camp
Meals Included: Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner

Day 13: Game Drive/ Rhinoceros
(Monday, March 17)
 Breakfast: Wake to the sound of beating drums followed by early morning coffee/tea served in the tents.
 Morning: Morning game drive in search of animals that may have eluded you so far.
 Brunch: Following the morning game drive, a filling brunch is served back at camp. After brunch, you have time at leisure during the heat of the day. A short foot safari with one of the local guides is offered today, too, where you can learn to identify the smaller things of the bush.
 Afternoon: Over afternoon tea, your group leader gives a lecture on rhinoceros. Following tea time, you embark on the last evening safari of the program. Cherish your last sundowners at a scenic spot.
 Dinner: Dinner at camp.
 Evening: Spend the evening recounting tales from the program with your fellow participants.
Accommodations: Honeyguide Camp
Meals Included: Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner

Day 14: Game Drive/ Departure/ Start of optional #19499 "Victoria Falls and Chobe" extension
(Tuesday, March 18)
 Breakfast: Wake to the sound of beating drums followed by early morning coffee/tea served in the tents.
 Morning: One last game drive within the reserve in search of animals you may not have seen thus far.
 Brunch: A filling brunch is served, after which you have time to pack.
 Afternoon: You are transferred approximately one hour to Hoedspruit airport, where you board your commercial flight to Johannesburg. In Johannesburg, you connect to your international, overnight flight home or the start of optional extension program #19499, "Extension: Victoria Falls and Chobe."
Meals Included: Breakfast, Brunch

Day 15: Arrive Home/ Fly to Zimbabwe for extension program #19499
(Wednesday, March 19)
 Morning: Early morning arrivals back in the USA and Canada.

Free Time Opportunities
  Cape Town Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
Kirstenbosch is acclaimed as one of the greatest botanic gardens in the world. Few gardens can match the sheer grandeur of its setting, against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain. Kirstenbosch was established in 1913 to promote, conserve and display the extraordinarily rich and diverse flora of southern Africa, and it was the first botanic garden in the world to be devoted to a country's indigenous flora (fynbos). On display in the gardens is a wide variety of the unique Cape Floristic Region plant life, as well as plants from all the diverse regions of southern Africa; there are over 7,000 species in cultivation at Kirstenbosch, including many that are rare and threatened. In 2004, the Cape Floristic Region, including Kirstenbosch, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For additional information, visit
  Robben Island
Starting from the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, the Robben Island ferry takes you out to the island. Robben Island, just seven miles off the Cape Town coast, was for nearly 400 years a place of banishment, exile, isolation and imprisonment. It was here that rulers sent those they regarded as political troublemakers, social outcasts and the unwanted of society. During apartheid years, Robben Island became internationally known for its institutional brutality. The duty of those who ran the island and its prison was to isolate opponents of apartheid and to crush their morale. This is where Nelson Mandela spent most of his 27 years in prison. From the island, enjoy spectacular views of the Cape. Tickets can be booked yourself online, or the Program Provider is happy to book the tour on your behalf. Current price is approximately $30 per person. For additional information, visit
  South African Museum & District Six
Visit the South African Museum which houses a superb collection of Bushman rock paintings and extensive displays on the Stone Age peoples who once inhabited the Cape. Also visit the District 6 museum, which is home to an emotional collection of art and memories from the district's glory days before the neighborhood was leveled by the apartheid government. For additional information, visit
  Various Museums
Cape Town has a variety of natural history, art and social history museums in town. Visit the website for more information on the numerous museums to choose from. Adult tickets are approximately $5. For additional information, visit
  Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
Explore the lively shopping, restaurants and entertainment on the waterfront.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Mandela's Way: Fifteen Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage

Author: Richard Stengel

Description: A firsthand account of Nelson Mandela's wisdom from Richard Stengel, a close friend of Mandela and the editor of Time magazine.

Adventuring in Southern Afica

Author: Allen Bechky

Description: This comprehensive guide to game parks throughout Southern Africa includes an overview of the region, tips on watching wildlife and good descriptive information on each park or nature reserve.

Cape Town, A Lonely Planet City Guide

Author: John A. Murray

Description: A practical guide to the city and surroundings, featuring suggested walks, excursions and attractions. This surprisingly complete book also includes color photographs and a map.

Exploration of Africa, From Cairo to the Cape

Author: Ann Hugon

Description: This jewel of a book chronicles 19th century exploration of Africa with hundreds of contemporary paintings and prints, brief chapters on the expeditions and a very useful chronology.

Long Walk to Freedom

Author: Nelson Mandela

Description: An unpretentious tale of an extraordinary life. Mandela recounts the circumstances of his imprisonment and ultimately his successful drive to end Apartheid.

Newmanís Birds of Southern Africa

Author: Kenneth Newman

Description: This classic field guide features hundreds of color plates, a comprehensive checklist Ė and information on habitat and distribution.

Silent Thunder, In the Presence of Elephants

Author: Katy Payne

Description: In this memoir, Katy Payne relates stories of research, discovery and conservation in Africa. An acoustic biologist, Payne has worked on communication among elephant populations at Amboseli National Park, Etosha and Sengwa.

Southern Africa Wildlife, A Visitor's Guide

Author: Mike Unwin

Description: A popular, photographic guide to the mammals, birds, reptiles and habitats south of the Zambezi. With 300 color photographs and illuminating text.

Southern, Central, and East African Mammals

Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart

Description: A compact guide to 152 mammals.

The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals

Author: Jonathan Kingdon

Description: The most complete African mammal guide available.

The Myth of Wild Africa

Author: Jonathan Adams, Thomas McShane

Description: A no-holds-barred attack on old-style conservation in Africa, provocative and dead-on. The authors explore the fallacy of an untouched continent where animals roam freely in sanctuaries.

The No. 1 Ladiesí Detective Agency

Author: Alexander McCall Smith

Description: McCall Smithís detective, Mma Ramotswe, makes her debut. A pleasure in every respect, this novel Ė not really a mystery Ė evokes the cultures, customs and diverse landscapes of Botswana.

The Safari Companion

Author: Richard Estes

Description: An encyclopedic guide to the behavior of Africaís mammals by a noted scientist.

The Scramble for Africa

Author: Thomas Pakenham

Description: A well-written, meticulously researched history of the Victorian land grab in Africa. The book includes especially good portraits of the egomaniacal personalities who overran the continent.

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