Luxury South Africa Safari
Indulge yourself in the most luxurious of safari experiences at the glamorous but game-rich Sabi Sands Game Reserve before heading to the Cape Winelands and finally Cape Town for the ultimate in South African luxury.
Prices: On request
Duration: 10 nights
Destinations: Sabi Sands Game Reserve, Cape Winelands, Cape Town
i) Big 5 game viewing at the exclusive Sabi Sands Game Reserve
ii) Safari at one of the most upmarket game reserves on the planet
iii) Combine exceptional game viewing with superlative service, dining and accommodation
iv) Indulge in the finest gastronomy and wine the Cape Winelands has to offer
v) Stay in one of Cape Town’s most luxurious properties and enjoy all the Mother City has to offer
Indulge yourself in the most luxurious of safari experiences at the glamorous and game-rich Sabi Sands Game Reserve. Internationally recognised and award-winning lodges await to combine exceptional game viewing and guiding. Head south to the Cape Winelands to treat yourself to the best food and wine the region has to offer. You will finish in Cape Town enjoying all The Mother City has to offer.
Best time to visit?
So when is the best time of year to take this trip to maximise your overall experience? Without knowing you yet this is a difficult question to answer. With so many variables to consider we need to know what is important to you before we advise on the preferable time for you.
There are many variables to consider when attempting to recommend the best time to visit. Specific considerations include the whereabouts of migratory animals, the effect the density of the vegetation and height of the grass has on wildlife viewing, special wildlife moments such as the birth of baby animals, and the effect weather patterns has on wildlife behaviour. Other factors to consider are the variation in prices at different times of the year, visitor traffic, whether you prefer a lush or relatively arid environment and of course the annual climate, namely temperature and rainfall values.
For this reason we present detailed information for each individual destination in the locations section to help you understand what may work best for you. We will of course have an in-depth discussion with you prior to making a booking so you are completely happy with the time of year you decide to travel.
- Game drives
- Bush walks.
- Tracking game on foot
- Wineries tours
- Whale watching on the Western Cape’s whale coast (seasonal)
- African penguins at Boulders Beach
- Shark cage diving (seasonal)
- Visit Table Mountain
- Robben Island cultural visit
- Adrenaline outdoor activities
- Domestic flights as detailed in the daily itinerary.
- Airport transfers throughout South Africa.
- Private vehicle transfers
- Private tours of the Cape’s wineries
- 10 nights accommodation as stated in the daily itinerary
- All meals as stated in the daily itinerary
- All-inclusive safari activities at Londolozi Tree Camp
- Included activities as above
- All relevant taxes and surcharges
- Return international flight to South Africa
- Airport transfers in home country
- Meals and drinks not stated in the daily itinerary
- Optional activities as above
- Applicable VISAS
- Tips and gratuities
- Health innoculations and medications
Your Ultimate Wildlife Adventure Begins
Board your overnight flight and depart for Johannesburg, South Africa.
Londolozi Tree Camp, Sabi Sands Game Reserve (L, D)
On arrival in Johannesburg you will be met by one of our friendly and informative representatives who will assist you with your onward flight to the Sabi Sands Game Reserve.
On arrival you will be met by one of the guides from Londolozi and transferred to Londolozi Tree Camp where the ultimate in bush luxury and impeccable service awaits you.
You will have time to familiarise yourself with your new home. Freshen up and maybe take a dip in your private pool or enjoy some well deserved lunch before heading out on safari. Enjoy sundowners on your way back to camp before enjoying a gourmet dinner back at the lodge.
Londolozi Tree Camp, Sabi Sands Game Reserve (B, L, D)
Enjoy three wonderful days exploring the exclusive Londolozi concession. Activities are usually conducted first thing in the morning when animals are most conspicuous and nocturnal species may still be active. Your second daily safari activity will take place in the afternoon and often finish with a sundowner in a beautiful setting. There is often the option of a night drive which is highly recommended as it provides you with the opportunity to see unfamiliar wildlife that you would never see during daylight. The beauty of safari in a private reserve is that regulations are relaxed therefore offering a wider range of activities such as night drives, walking safaris and off-road driving, all of which are forbidden in the main national park. Your safari experience here is extremely exclusive with only tourists staying at the lodges within the reserve being able to safari here.
The wildlife viewing is phenomenal here. Expect safari activities to produce the Big 5 animals of elephant, lion, buffalo, rhinoceros, and the elusive leopard. Indeed, it is widely agreed sightings of the usually shy and reclusive leopard are more reliable at the Sabi Sands Game Reserve than anywhere else in Africa.
There will be plenty of opportunity to enjoy downtime between activities and make the most of the facilities on offer. Enjoy the fine dining options, take a dip in the pool or maybe curl up with a book watching wildlife pass through camp.
Cape Winelands (B, D)
Your time in safari luxury unfortunately ends today but every cloud has a silver lining as you head down to the Cape Winelands. Enjoy one last game drive out of the reserve as you head to the airport to catch your flight down to Cape Town. On arrival at Cape Town your private driver will meet you and transfer you to Stellenbosch and your chosen accommodation.
Spend the rest of the day exploring the local eateries and sampling the best wine the Cape has to offer.
Cape Winelands (B, D)
We suggest two days to enjoy the area and visit the many wineries and restaurants of Stellenbosch, Franschoek and Paarl. You will be collected from your accommodation on both mornings and transported on a private tour of the area’s best wineries and stopping for fine cuisine at lunch time.
The Twelve Apostles Hotel, Cape Town (B)
This morning you will enjoy a leisurely start before being transferred to Cape Town. Your time in Cape Town will be more leisurely as you can choose what you would like to do with your own time. We will discuss your personal interests and provide suitable recommendations prior to your departure to help you maximise your time in the Mother City.
Cape Town has so much to offer. You may wish to continue your wildlife exploration by visiting the African penguins at Boulders Beach, view whales by land or sea during the whale season or even dive with great white sharks. Hikers may enjoy hiking up table mountain or the various trails around the Cape Peninsula. Those into outdoor extreme sports will enjoy paragliding from the lions head in Cape Town. If you prefer to relax and recuperate on your last few days Cape Town has some of the most amazing beaches each with their own individual character.
The Twelve Apostles Hotel, Cape Town (B)
As the previous day you are free to explore Cape Town as much or as little as possible. You may choose to explore independently or elect to be guided on a private tour.
The End Of Your Ultimate Wildlife Adventure (B)
Today marks the last day of your African adventure and no doubt you will have gained new experiences and achieved so much in such a short period of time.
Your driver will collect you and transfer you to Cape Town International Airport for your flight to your final destination.
Londolozi Tree Camp
Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa
Overview: Londolozi is a premium luxury property in the Londolozi Concession of the larger Sabi Sands Game Reserve. Small, exclusive and luxurious, it epitomises luxury and elegance. Nestled in the leadwood tree canopy, this lodge is a sanctuary of elegance and simplicity. Tree Camp is a celebration of over 4 decades of connections and kinship with the wild free roaming leopards that move through Londolozi.
Accommodation: 6 large luxury suites equipped with air-conditioning and en suite bathrooms. Each suite has its own private deck with an outdoor shower and plunge pool.
Facilities & amenities: Yoga classes, Londolozi healing house, fitness centre, restaurant, bar and spa.
Power & communication: The lodge is equipped with mains electricity. WiFi is complimentary throughout the property. Mobile phone network coverage is available but may at times be unreliable.
Activities: Game drives. Bush walks. Tracking game on foot. Birding.
Children: Tree Camp does not accommodate children under the age of 16, unless guests book the camp exclusively.
The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa
Cape Town, South Africa
Overview: Dramatically located above the Atlantic Ocean, flanked by the majestic Twelve Apostles and Table Mountain, the award-winning Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa offers luxurious rooms and exquisite dining experiences. The beaches of beautiful Camps Bay are only a stone’s throw away as are the many attractions of Cape Town and the nearby Cape Peninsula.
Accommodation: 55 deluxe guest rooms and 15 luxurious suites all with uninterrupted views of the sea or mountains. All rooms are equipped as expected of a 5 star international standard hotel.
Facilities & Amenities: Spa. Award-winning restaurants. Selection of bars. Infinity pool, rock pool and jacuzzi. Indigenous gardens. Private 16 seat cinema and free in-room movies. Babysitting facilities.
Power & communication: The hotel is fully equipped with mains electricity. WiFi comes as standard and mobile phone network coverage is very reliable.
Activities: Enjoy activities in and around Cape Town. These activities are provided by 3rd party operators.
Children: Guests of all ages are welcome. Children under the ages of 12 are free of charge when sharing with two adults.
- Special Status: Private Game Reserve
- Location: Northern-east South Africa
- Land mass: 623 km²
- Mammal species: 145
- Bird species: 500
- Big 5 reserve: Yes
- Game drives (including off-road driving)
- Night drives
- Walking safari
- Premium luxury safari destination
- World famous lodges
- Amazing food
- The best destination in the world for observing leopards
- Close wildlife encounters
- Reliable Big 5 destination
The Sabi Sands Game Reserve is a private game reserve in the far north-east of South Africa. It covers an area of 623 km² and is renowned for offering the most luxurious and exclusive safaris in Africa. The game reserve is not actually an individual reserve but indeed land carved up into smaller concessions and privately owned by several high quality safari operators. Each of these private reserves have their own individual character and luxury lodges, all affording guests an absolute premium in service, guiding and hospitality.
This destination is in the premium range of safari destinations. It is ideal for honeymoons, large groups of family or friends, upmarket family holidays, and special occasions or celebrations. The reserve offers the rare combination of exclusivity, exceptional service and hospitality, world-class and award winning lodges, exquisite cuisine and superb guiding and wildlife viewing. A real rarity anywhere in the safari world. This unique selling point has been created with a certain clientele in mind, those who enjoy the finer things in life. However, it must be noted the safari experience may be deemed tame for experienced African travellers looking for a true wilderness experience. Those who are more adventurous but still want to experience the exceptional service and luxury lodges may be more suited to Northern Botswana, in particular the private concessions of the Okavango Delta or the Linyanti’s private reserves.
The Sabi Sands Game Reserve shares a 50 kilometres unfenced border with the world-famous Kruger National Park. These reserves, in combination with other adjacent high-quality private reserves, form the Greater Kruger ecosystem, a wildlife sanctuary protecting 25,000 km² of wilderness.
The Sabi Sands Game Reserve benefits from wildlife passing into the reserve from the wildlife-rich Kruger National Park. As a result it is able to boast remarkable wildlife numbers. Fish species have been recorded at 45, there has been more than 500 bird species recorded within the boundaries of the reserve, as well as an astonishing 145 mammal species and 110 reptile species.
The reserve’s main wildlife attraction is its ability to reliably serve up exceptional leopard sightings. These normally nocturnal and elusive big cats are unusually conspicuous by day and relaxed around safari vehicles. Guests viewing up to 3 individual leopards by lunch time would not be unheard of. The African elephant, lion, cape buffalo and black rhinoceros are also all present ensuring the Sabi Sands Game Reserve is a reliable Big 5 game reserve. Other notable wildlife, amongst many, include cheetah, hippopotamus, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe and hyena. The African wild dog is also well represented in the game reserve and the ability to drive off-road presents guests with a potential opportunity to follow their hunts.
Activities in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve do vary from reserve to reserve so if there is a particular activity important to you please let us know and we’ll be sure to direct you accordingly. Game drives by day and night are available in all reserves. This ensures you will see an abundance and variety of different species. Off-road driving is permitted in all reserves and this really does add an extra dimension to game drives. Walking is another common activity. Getting out of the vehicle allows you to gain an appreciation of the environment as well as observe smaller game that are often missed on game drives.
The Sabi Sands Game Reserve is a location used in high-end safaris. For this reason it is almost exclusively used as a fly-in destination. Guests will often combine 3-5 nights here with a non-safari combination in the Western Cape usually taking in Cape Town, as well as the Cape Winelands and Garden Route if time and desire permits.
Best Time To Visit
The Sabi Sands Game Reserve is a year-round destination. However, seasons can be divided into the cool, dry winter and the hot and wet summer. Each season, and indeed the months within each season, offers you a different experience. There is no time of year that offers you the best of everything so we provide you with a balanced account throughout the year so you are able to make an informed decision on the best time to visit based on your preferences.
As South Africa is in the Southern Hemisphere winter and summer months oppose those of our Northern Hemisphere. Down here summer is December to February with the winter months being June to August.
The dry season is characterised by minimal to no rainfall and cooler temperatures. June and July are the coolest months as the mercury can dip as low as 8 degrees Celsius overnight and in the early morning. It is recommended to bring warm clothes at this time of year to avoid the chill on early morning game drives. Temperatures recover to an average 24 degrees Celsius by midday which makes for a pleasant time out on safari.
The wet season is wet, hot and humid by comparison. However, temperatures rarely exceed 30 degrees Celsius so are not deemed overbearing like in the reserves to the north such as Zambia and Zimbabwe. Having said that you may be unlucky and occasionally experience temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius. The luxury lodges in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve are able to offset this by offering air-conditioning in their suites. Rainfall is usually in the form of afternoon thunderstorms so game viewing activities are rarely disrupted.
Wildlife viewing is exceptional year round thanks to the permanent water sources of both the Sand River and Sabi River supporting a large abundance of resident animal species. This assurance of water ensures wildlife is therefore not forced to immigrate and emigrate to and from the park as is the case at many other wildlife sanctuaries.
As is the case with almost all other wildlife reserves throughout East and Southern Africa, the abundance and variety of bird species is at its greatest during the wetter months. The reliable water sources and thicker vegetation at this time of year encourage herbivores to give birth to their young. These vulnerable newly-born animals encourage large congregations of carnivores looking for an easy meal. The dry season’s advantages are less foliage therefore making animals more conspicuous as they move through the bush.
Many safari specialists would advise the dry season from July to mid-October as being the best time to travel to the Sabi Sands Game Reserve. The reasons being the dry and cool days make safari more comfortable and the less dense foliage lends itself to slightly better game viewing as the animals are more conspicuous. Unusually for Africa this is deemed the low season in Sabi Sands when prices are significantly cheaper. This is a big deal in the Sabi Sands and offers relatively great value.
Tourist volume is thankfully not a problem at any time of year. Only guests staying at one of the lodges in the reserve are able to participate in safari activities on the reserve and the operators have a strict policy of limiting vehicles to 3 at any one time around a sighting.
Sabi Sands is often combined with Cape Town, the Cape Winelands and the Garden Route, all of which are located in the Western Cape. Frustratingly, these areas have opposite seasons to the Sabi Sands and most of the northern game reserves. Summer here is hot and dry, whilst winter is cold, cloudy and rainy. This can cause a headache for those wanting to visit in winter.
- Location: South-west South Africa
- Land mass: Cape Town 400 km²/ Western Cape 129,449 km²
- Points of interest:
- Cape Town
- Table Mountain National Park
- Cape Winelands
- Whale Coast
- Cape Point
- Robben Island
- Boulders Beach
- Shark diving
- Whale watching
- Dolphin watching
- Swimming with endangered penguins
- Cultural tours
- Wine farm tours
- Outdoor adventure activities
- Exhilarating interactions with Great White Sharks
- Whale and dolphin watching by boat and on land
- Share your beach space and swim with the endangered African penguin
- Hike up or take the cable car to the top of Table Mountain for unrivalled views of The Mother City.
- Spend time in the Cape Winelands and experience the best wine the Cape has to offer.
Cape Town, what can we say about Cape Town except it is quite truly spectacular. The inclusion of a city in our itineraries may at first appear at odds with our promise of offering the best wildlife experiences on the planet. However, under further scrutiny Cape Town and its surrounding areas in the Western Cape offer so much more than the typical city break.
Unique wildlife interactions, spectacular beaches, unbelievable hiking trails, fascinating cultural history and world-class wine tasting, Cape Town offers clients the perfect complement to their authentic African safari, either within South Africa or neighbouring countries.
Nestled in the south-western part of Africa, Cape Town is a bustling city with a population greater than 4.5 million people, larger than the sprawling U.S city of Los Angeles. However, its comparison with Los Angeles and other large cities ends there. Its geographical location with the mighty Table Mountain as its centrepiece provides the most beautiful of settings. Cape Town has one of the highest levels of biodiversity of any equivalent area in the world. There are an estimated 2200 species of plants confined to Table Mountain alone with many being endemic to the mountain and being found nowhere else on earth. To gain perspective, the United Kingdom only has 1200 species of plants throughout the entire country. Such is Cape Town’s biodiversity it reached first place in two of the three categories in the 2019 iNaturalist City Nature Challenge. This floral biodiversity naturally encourages a diverse fauna to the area.
Cape Town and its surrounding areas along the Western Cape are exceptional destinations for wildlife lovers. Indeed, this part of the world is recognised as offering wildlife interactions with the so called marine Big 5. This term was coined in South Africa and includes the whale, shark, dolphin, seal and penguin. Access to all these marine species are within driving distance of Cape Town.
South Africa, specifically Gaansbai and False Bay in the Western Cape, is the location of some of the best shark interactions in the world. Divers are submerged in a metal cage into the shark’s natural environment and have the opportunity to observe and photograph these misunderstood predators at extremely close quarters. It is an extremely exhilarating experience.
The African penguin, formely known as the jackass penguin, is listed as endangered by the IUCN as their numbers continue to dramatically decline. With only about 55,000 individuals remaining in the wild, down from 200,000 in 2000 and 4 million at the turn of the 19th century their existence as a species is critical. Despite this they are astonishingly easy to interact with down at Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town on the Cape Peninsula. The penguins happily allow visitors to get within a metre of them on land and fun can be had swimming alongside them in the sea.
Cape Fur Seals are also easily observed frolicking in the waters off of the coast. They are a spectacle at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town but can quite easily be observed from the shoreline at most places. For those interested in seeing a huge abundance of seals a visit to Seal Island and the huge colony of 64,000 cape fur seals is highly recommended.
The Cape Whale Coast, just outside Cape Town and occupying the coastline of the Western Cape, is an extraordinary stretch of land that in whale season comes to life with these huge marine mammals dominating the ocean and nature lovers dotting the coastline. The towns of Kleinmond, Hermanus, Stanford and Gansbaai are the main towns people flock to witness this migration of humpback whales, southern right whales and bryde’s whale. Outdoorsy guests may elect to embark on the whale trail which is a 55 km walking trail traversing the De Hoop Nature Reserve with 5 night’s stay in unique accommodation positioned along the trail.
Of course a visit to the Western Cape isn’t all about wildlife viewing as there are plenty of opportunities for adrenaline activities, relaxing on pristine beaches, sampling the best wine the region has to offer and taking time to understand the culture and history of the area.
Cape Town itself has some spectacular beaches including Camps Bay, Clifton beaches 1-4, Llandudno, and Oudekraal to offer only a few suggestions. However, the sea is notoriously cold here so for those who like to enjoy a dip in the ocean head down the Cape Peninsula to False Bay where sea temperatures can be up to 10 degrees higher. Notably, Muizenberg, Fish Hoek, and the beaches at Simon’s Town are good options.
Foodies and wine lovers should not miss the opportunity to explore the Cape Winelands, notably Stellenbosch, Franschoek, Paarl and Somerset West. With 2000 wineries to explore this is a perfect destination to slow the pace after a busy safari schedule.
Visit the prison on Robben Island where Nelson Mandela spent the majority of his 27 years imprisoned or visit the District 6 Museum to gain a better understanding of the apartheid era. Those seeking more adventure can enjoy hiking on Table Mountain or within Table Mountain National Park, take a helicopter tour from the V&A Waterfront or paraglide from the lion’s head overlooking Camps Bay.
Best Time To Visit
The best time to visit Cape Town & the Western Cape is extremely dependent on the reasons for your visit. It is true it is a year-round destination offering the visitor a spectacular experience at all times of the year. However, if you intend on visiting for a particular reason then it is important to gain an understanding of the best time for that particular activity or experience.
As South Africa is in the Southern Hemisphere its seasons oppose those of the Northern Hemisphere regions of Europe and North America. When we are fighting off the cold in deep winter Cape Town is basking in summer sunshine. Likewise our warmer summer months correspond with the time of year Capetonians wrap up for their relative cold snap.
Summer in Cape Town is from December to March. This time of year is characterised by high temperatures and long, dry days. Average highs are 27-29 degrees Celsius with average lows being a balmy 17 degrees Celsius. Rainfall is minimal with precipitation only occurring 2-3 days per month on average. The driest months are January and February with only 22 mm of rain in an entire month, with March and December being only negligibly wetter. There is no surprise that this is the time of year that works best for those looking for excellent beach weather. The summer climate is perfect for beach goers looking to relax after a busy safari schedule.
April and May are somewhat of a shoulder season or transitional months between summer and winter. Temperatures, although extremely pleasant, drop to highs of 25 degrees Celsius and lows of 15 degrees Celsius in April and 22 degrees Celsius and 13 degrees Celsius respectively in May. There is also a sharp increase in rainfall to 66 mm over 6 days in April and 113 mm over 9 days in May.
Winter sets in from June and lasts through August and into September. This season is characterised by cool and relatively wet days with 10 days of rain per month. Average temperatures rarely exceed 20 degrees Celsius and drop to an average low of 12 degrees Celsius. June is the wettest month with an average rainfall of 145 mm, with 133 mm falling over the course of July and 107 mm in August.
September marks the start of the temperature recovery and reduction in precipitation. Temperatures return to average highs of 25 degrees Celsius and 15 degrees Celsius in October and November. Rainfall averages only 48 mm in October and 28 mm in November.
Whale watching is best between the months of June to November with July and August being the calving season. As whale viewing is dependent on migratory behaviour the exact timings at either end of the season can’t be guaranteed. One certainty we can promise is if you visit the Western Cape between the months of December and May inclusive then your chances of observing whales in their natural environment will be pretty slim to non-existent. Cape fur seals and the endangered African penguins are easily accessible all year and there is no particular time of year that is preferable to another.