South Africa
Flanked by the Atlantic Ocean on the west and the Indian Ocean on the east, South Africa is rich in indigenous flora, exceptional gardens, stunning natural landscapes, amazing wildlife and vibrant, diverse cultures.

For operational reasons this tour is deferred until 2017. New details will be available late - 2016, please contact Renaissance Tours

Gardens of South Africa
Gardens, Landscapes, Wildlife and Wine with Genevieve Jacobs


For operational reasons this tour is deferred until 2017. New details will be available late-2016, please contact Renaissance Tours.


Flanked by the Atlantic Ocean on the west and the Indian Ocean on the east, South Africa is rich in indigenous flora, exceptional gardens, stunning natural landscapes, amazing wildlife and vibrant, diverse cultures.

Begin in Johannesburg, the heart of the country, and journey south to the coastal city of Durban with its African, Indian and Colonial influences. Explore the university town of Stellenbosch with its stunning architecture and discover one of the world’s most remarkable coastal stretches: South Africa’s Garden Route. Finish in Cape Town, shadowed by iconic Table Mountain and renowned for its Cape Winelands.

Indulge in a short stay at the private game reserve of Sabi Sands, host to the ‘Big 5’ (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhinoceros) and enjoy visits to the famous Brenthurst and Stellenberg gardens, as well as the botanical gardens of Durban and Kirstenbosch.

• Enjoy leisurely stays in the culturally diverse cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town
• Encounter the ‘Big 5’ at the private Sabi Sands Game Reserve (including 4 game viewing drives)
• Discover charming villages and exceptional wine estates
• Visit Botanical gardens, private gardens and nature reserves
• Journey through the Western Cape with its spectacular hinterlands and mountainous coastline
• Optional extension – Rovos Rail train journey Cape Town to Pretoria

Sat 01 October 2016 / Australia – Johannesburg
Suggested departure from Australia on QANTAS / South African Airways flights to Johannesburg. Late afternoon arrival and transfer to your hotel for check-in.
This evening, join Genevieve and fellow travellers for a welcome briefing and dinner. (D)

Sun 02 Oct / Johannesburg
Begin your exploration from the cosmopolitan heart of Johannesburg, Sandton CBD. Drive through the suburbs of Sandhurst, Hyde Park and onto Houghton, home of the past President Nelson Mandela. Enter the bustling lively suburb of Hillbrow, followed by Constitution Hill, and across the Nelson Mandela Bridge to Newtown. Walk around the old Mining House District, home to most of the world’s largest mining companies such as Anglo American and BHP Billiton. Continue past Ghandi Square to the Carlton Centre, Africa’s tallest building and enjoy panoramic views of downtown Johannesburg from the 50th floor.

Following lunch, visit the Apartheid Museum and the iconic suburb of Soweto. Stop at the Kliptown Memorial, site of the famous Freedom Charter gathering on which South Africa’s constitution is based, and drive past the present home of Nobel prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Stop at Nelson Mandela’s first home, now the Mandela Family Museum. (BL)

Mon 03 Oct / Johannesburg
After breakfast visit Brenthurst Gardens Parktown, one of South Africa’s most magnificent gardens. The private park is attached to Brenthurst Estate which has been owned by the Oppenheimer family since 1904.

The 48 acre park of woodland, formal and informal gardens has evolved over time with the help of a succession of remarkable gardeners. Since 2001 Strilli Oppenheimer has implemented numerous organic, ecologically friendly garden practices, gradually adapting the planting to its Highveld setting, introducing indigenous grass and endemic plants.

Following lunch continue to St Christopher garden, an estate that seamlessly integrates Italian garden design with contemporary English border planting. Spend time wandering through the many factors of this garden including highlights such as the classical pergola and formal parterre, as well as an oval reflection pond and Azalea Bowl. (BL)

Tue 04 Oct / Johannesburg
This morning, journey 50km northwest of Johannesburg to the Cradle of Humankind, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The site’s name reflects the large number of, as well as some of the oldest hominin fossils ever found, some dating back as far as 3.5 million years. It contains a complex of limestone caves, including the Sterkfontein Caves, where the 2.3 million year-old fossil, Australopithecus africanus (nicknamed Mrs. Ples), was found in 1947 by Dr. Robert Broom and John T. Robinson.

After lunch visit the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden founded in 1982 and named after the anti-apartheid activist. Set against the backdrop of the magnificent Witpoortjie waterfall, the garden covers almost 750 acres and consists of both landscaped and natural veld areas. (BL)

Wed 05 Oct / Johannesburg – Kruger
Transfer to Johannesburg Airport for a morning flight to Kruger Mpumalanga Airport. (NB: economy class checked baggage allowance of 1 bag up to 20kg applies).

On arrival, transfer to Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, the oldest and most successful private reserve in South Africa. The reserve is located adjacent to the Kruger National Park’s unfenced south-western boundary.

Spend the afternoon settling into your accommodation. Kirkman’s Kamp, consisting of 18 cottages is a well-known historic camp originally built in the early 1920s, and celebrates the atmosphere of an early South African lowveld homestead, with a colonial style and gracious ambience. Enjoy spectacular views of the unspoiled wilderness and the Sand River. Breakfast and lunch are served on shady verandahs, and dinners are shared in the dramatic boma (enclosure) or in lantern-lit bush settings.

Late afternoon embark on the first of four game drives, followed by dinner at the lodge. (BLD)

Thu 06 Oct / Kruger
Today, enjoy early morning and late afternoon game drives. (BLD)
Game drives are conducted in open safari vehicles, seating between 6 and 12 passengers. They are under the expert guidance of experienced rangers and insightful trackers and include off-road driving, night drives and guided nature walks, all of which greatly enhance the game viewing experience.

Fri 07 Oct / Kruger – Durban
Following an early morning game drive and breakfast, transfer to Kruger Mpumalanga Airport for an afternoon flight to the coastal city of Durban, one of Africa’s busiest ports.

On arrival transfer to the hotel. (BD)

Sat 08 Oct / Durban
Begin with a city tour of Durban, one of the most culturally diverse cities in Africa. See how the city has been shaped by the indigenous Zulu population and the Indian workers who arrived as indentured labourers in the 19th century.

The city centre overlooks a long golden beach that curves round to one of the largest harbours on earth. Drive along the ‘Golden Mile’ to the Victoria Embankment, passing Vasco Da Gama clock, Dick King statue and the Royal Natal Yacht Club. Continue past the sugar terminal, the University of Natal and the elegant mansions in the residential areas of Berea and Morningside.

Visit the Durban Botanical Gardens, world-renowned for their indigenous and exotic plant collections. It began as a site for growing experimental tropical crops, and today offers a herbarium, an orchid house, and an award-winning Sensory Garden.

Following lunch, visit the Umgeni Bird Park and the vibrant Indian and Victoria Street Market with its blend of all things Indian and African. (BL)

Sun 09 Oct / Durban – George
Following breakfast, transfer to Durban Airport for a morning flight to George Airport.
On arrival in George, transfer to the Garden Route Botanical Garden which plays an important role in both conservation and raising awareness about the critical Cape floral kingdom of the Garden Route, one of the richest (and yet one of the smallest and most threatened) floral kingdoms on Earth.

After lunch, transfer to the hotel for check in.

Remainder of the afternoon is at leisure. (BLD)

Mon 10 Oct / George
Today, visit Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary, the world’s first free roaming multi-species sanctuary. Enjoy a ranger guided walking safari into the forest and across the 128 metre canopy walk, which rises above the forest canopy, for a bird’s eye view.

Visit the Birds of Eden’s free-flight aviary (The world’s largest), covering 5 acres of indigenous forest spanning over a gorge.

Following lunch journey east to the picturesque Knysna Lagoon with its entrance to the Indian Ocean guarded by two grand sandstone cliffs, known as Knysna Heads. (BL)

Tue 11 Oct / George – Franschhoek
Depart George early and enjoy a scenic drive west to Franschoek, travelling a section of the famous route 62 (420km, approx. 7-8 hours including stops).

Prior to arriving in Franschhoek visit the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden, a truly unique garden cultivating a wide variety of desert and semi-desert plants and the only true succulent garden in the southern hemisphere. (BLD)

Wed 12 Oct / Franschhoek
Enjoy a full day exploration of the Cape Winelands. Begin with a tour of Franschhoek renowned for its spectacular beauty, superb Cape wines and world class restaurants. Founded in 1688 by French Huguenots, this charming village nestles in a rich and fertile valley between towering mountains.

Continue to Paarl, the third-oldest town in South Africa. View the Afrikaans Language Monument erected in 1975 to commemorate the semi centenary of Afrikaans as an official language, separate from Dutch. The monument overlooks the farmlands of Stellenbosch and Paarl.

Travel through the Stellenbosch area to Simonsig Estate, for wine tasting and a cellar tour followed by lunch at the Delaire Graff Estate.

In the afternoon visit the historic university city of Stellenbosch. South Africa’s second oldest settlement after Cape Town, Stellenbosch is synonymous with the oldest wine route in the country with over 100 cellars. (BL)

Thu 13 Oct / Franschhoek – Cape Town
Depart Franschhoek for a leisurely days’ drive to Cape Town, stopping at historic Vergelegen Estate, granted to the Governor of the Cape in 1700. Willem Adriaan Van der Stel, a man of divergent interests, transformed the uncultivated land into a veritable paradise. He planted vines, camphor trees and oaks, laid out fruit orchards and orange groves, and introduced cattle and sheep. Amongst the horticultural treasures are five magnificent Chinese camphor trees planted between 1700 and 1706. They are the oldest living, officially documented trees on the subcontinent and were declared a National Monument in 1942.

Late afternoon arrival into Cape Town. (BLD)

Fri 14 Oct / Cape Town
This morning begin with a visit to The Cellars-Hohenort, located on nine acres of beautifully maintained land in the Constantia Valley of Cape Town. The garden at The Cellars-Hohenort is acknowledged as one of the finest hotel gardens internationally, and has been voted by Garden Design, American magazine, as one of the top 30 hotel gardens in the world.

Following lunch, enjoy a city tour of Cape Town, including a visit to the Company’s Garden. Situated on the site of Jan van Riebeeck’s vegetable garden, it was created in 1652 to provide produce for the settlers and ships bound for the East and is now a delightful botanical garden. Visit the Castle of Good Hope, which now houses a collection of museums with exhibits relating to the Dutch East India Company.

Continue to the magnificent Table Mountain (weather permitting) and ascend to the summit by revolving cable car for magnificent 360º views of Cape Town. (BL)

Sat 15 Oct / Cape Town
Enjoy a day at leisure. (B)

Sun 16 Oct / Cape Town
Begin the morning with a visit to the glorious Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden. Nestled at the foot of Table Mountain, it is renowned for the beauty and diversity of the Cape flora it displays, and for the magnificence of its setting. Covering 1300 acres, Kirstenbosch grows only indigenous South African plants and supports a diverse fynbos flora and natural forest. The cultivated garden (85 acres) displays collections of South African plants, particularly those from the winter rainfall region of the country.

After lunch, drive through the Cape Peninsula Park to the spectacular Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. The Nature Reserve is a floral treasure, with over one thousand different species of Cape Fynbos (Afrikaans for fine bush). The Cape Fynbos kingdom has earned international recognition as one of the world’s six Floral Kingdoms, albeit definitely the smallest. Cape Point is perceived to be the meeting point of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

Return to Cape Town via FishHoek, Muizenberg and the southern suburbs of Cape Town.

Tonight celebrate the conclusion of the tour with a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (BLD)

Mon 17 Oct / Depart Cape Town
Tour arrangements conclude with a transfer to Cape Town International Airport. Arrive by 12.30, in time for an afternoon South African Airways flight to Johannesburg, connecting with QANTAS / SA flights to Australia. (B)

Tue 18 Oct / Arrive Australia
Afternoon arrival in Australia.

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Per person, twin-share AUD 10,500

Single supplement*AUD 2,500

Deposit per person AUD 500
*Single travellers may request to share. Please advise at time of booking.

Final payment due 01 AUG 2016

Tour Code GD1603

Fitness level Moderate
Please see booking conditions for fitness level definitions.

Suggested airline Qantas/South African Airways
Please contact Renaissance Tours for current airfares and flight reservations.

Visa Australian Passport holders do not require a visa for South Africa.

Tour price includes
• Accommodation in centrally located hotels with private facilities and daily breakfast (B)
• Meals as per itinerary (L=Lunch, D=Dinner).Wines with meals.
• Transfers on arrival and departure (if travelling on suggested group flights)
• Transportation throughout in comfortable air-conditioned coaches
• Domestic flights: Johannesburg – Kruger, Kruger – Durban, Durban – George (note: 20kg checked luggage allowance)
• Comprehensive sightseeing, including local guides and entrance fees as per itinerary
• 4 Game view drives
• Gratuities for local guides and drivers
• Hotel porterage (one piece per person)

Tour price does not include
• Transfer on arrival and departure (if not travelling on suggested group flights)
• Items of a personal nature (e.g. telephone, laundry, mini-bar, taxis etc.)
• Travel insurance (recommended)
• Airport porterage

Your hotels
Johannesburg – Maslow Hotel ****
Kruger – Sabi Sand Game Reserve Kirkman’s Kamp****
Durban – Zimbali Resort *****
George – Views Boutique Hotel ****
Franschhoek – Le Franschhoek ****
Cape Town – The Cape Milner Hotel ****

NB. Hotels of a similar standard may be substituted