Travel

South African Adventure With A Touch Of Luxury

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I have recently been looking at a fantastic itinerary for some of my customers wanting to visit South Africa, and really felt I wanted to share this with you too. I based the travel dates on Mid May to Mid June a really good time to see the Big 5 and get the best weather too.

This wonderful Itinerary around South Africa, begins in Johannesburg and takes in Ulusaba in Kruger National Park and Key points around the Eastern and Western Cape including Pretoria, Capetown and Stellanbosch, this gives the opportunity to visit the Famous “Garden Route” and experience Wine Tasting and amazing scenery right out of the Film “Born Free”, and which is best experienced on a Self Drive Touring option which I can arrange.

They also manage to pull in an overnight journey from Pretoria to Capetown on the Iconic “Blue Train” which is a wonderful link between the Northern Points and East and West Capes and breathtaking scenery of central parts of South Africa on a 27 hour Colonial Journey back in time.

The Journey begins with flights from the UK served by British Airways and Virgin into Johannesburg travelling overnight and arriving into Johannesburg around 730am, giving you plenty of time to connect with the internal South African Airways flights to the 5 Star Ulusaba Game Reserve in the Kruger National Park.

Ulusaba has its own private Air Strip and is owned and operated to and Excellent standard by Sir Richard Branson. (Virgin Brand Creator and Megastar)

We have opted for the 3 night All inclusive Safari Option based on the Ulusaba Game Lodge-River Room with Plunge Pool with everything you could wish for and much much more, its a wonderful place …

Built tree house style and very private there are four River Rooms, with two rooms offering private plunge pools. All are very spacious with snuggling seating areas and striking views of the river bed or bush. Ideal for those celebrating or enjoying a romantic escape as these rooms are secluded and tucked between jackalberry trees. Three of the River Rooms are accessible by swing bridge and are a short walk from the main Lodge.

The treehouse viewing deck overlooking the Xikwenga Dam is a great place to get even further into the bush to see where the hippos and elephants come to bathe. Ulusaba has a fantastic Spa offering every type of Spa Treatment you can think of.

From bush games, safari walks and cocktails by the pool, there’s no shortage of things to do during the day.

You might not be a morning person but it’s certainly worth getting out of bed for this. Your morning starts with freshly baked goodies and tea and coffee to help get started. Your Ranger and Tracker will meet you and your morning adventure begins. As sun rises you’ll be treated to the beauty of the African bush. This is generally the best time to spot the wildlife, as the temperature is cool and the animals are still very active, including the big cats, which will be returning from a night of hunting. We don’t want to give too much away, so just remember to set your alarm.

All your meals are included and with at least six chances to eat, from fine dining , room service or an intimate meal for two on your private balcony you won’t go hungry.

The next part of the journey after our flight from Ulusaba back to Johannesburg is a 45 minute private transfer to Pretoria which can be arranged directly from the Airport to all the main Hotels in Pretoria, we opted to stay in the Sheraton Pretoria on a bed and breakfast basis.

This hotel offers everything you would expect of a 4 Star City Hotel including Room and Suites, Health Club and Spa, Magnolia Restaurant and Tiffin Bar and lounge for your afternoon tea and cakes..wonderful.

The next day sees early breakfast and our journey to Pretoria Main Train Station for our Iconic Colonial Journey back in time on the “Blue Train” to Capetown, we have packed our best Suits, Dickie Bows and Ball Gowns for an experience of a lifetime and that feeling of anticipation of what we are going to see and experience over the next 24 hours.

The route between Pretoria and Cape Town is a 27-hour journey of 1 600 kilometres (994 miles), through some of the most diverse and spectacular scenery offered by the African sub-continent.

We have opted for the Deluxe Carriage and all our meals are included and they certainly live up to their 5 Star rating.

Your De Luxe Suite will forever alter your definition of what style and class entail. From your elegant and relaxing lounge during the day, it transforms into a subtly-lit bedroom of indulgence during the night, with goose-down and 100 per cent percale-cotton bedding, from your individually-controlled air-conditioning system, under-floor heating, opulent marble and gold-fitted bathroom, its scented bath salts and plush monogrammed towels, to the electronic entertainment options on offer. And then, of course, all this accompanied by the ever-changing vistas of the African countryside…

The highlight of the evening is of course getting all dressed up for a wonderful meal on this amazing train and historic journey to Capetown.

On board chefs regularly refresh their menus to intrigue and tantalise your palate, as they prepare their signature dishes using the freshest of local ingredients. From Karoo lamb, ostrich and venison, to Knysna oysters and other award-winning Cape cultivars. All presented in delicate crystal or on fine china, all contributing to the ultimate experience of “The Blue Train”.

En route to Cape Town there is a stopover and excursion in Kimberley, where we take a step back in time to the days of the diamond rush.

After Departing our Carriages and leaving the “Blue Train” behind we have waiting for us our Vehicle a Mitsubishi ASX hired for 5 days for the final part of our journey from Capetown to Stellanbosch taking in the Wine Region and experiencing two more wonderful locations, a must see part of South Africa.

In Capetown we have opted for the Radisson Blu Waterfront and have a Business Class room on bed and breakfast again this is a fantastic hotel offering every first class facility.

the Radisson Blu Hotel also offers easy access to popular destinations like Table Mountain and Robben Island.

From Capetown we travel to the final hotel in Stellanbosch, the Oude Werf, Cape Winelands oldest and most famous Hotel.

Oude Werf has 58 rooms in three luxury styles, set across the hotel property. Most are centred on our poolside gardens or in our historic inn-house. All rooms have been extensively renovated or are newly built, incorporating modern features.

Finally our journey see us dropping our car back at Capetown Airport and making our way back to the airport for our flight back to the UK – what a wonderful itinerary to have provided for my customers and a real insight into what South Africa has to offer. Its a destination on a huge scale offering every type of holiday type and standard – I can honestly say its a trip of a lifetime.

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GARY MANNERS
PERSONAL TRAVEL COUNSELLOR/TRAVEL SPECIALIST

T: 0161 826 7430
E: gary.manners@travelcounsellors.com
W: http://www.travelcounsellors.co.uk/gary.manners

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