From the scenic Garden Route on the Indian Ocean coast to the Big Five savannas of Greater Kruger, this journey weaves all the marvels of South Africa into one perfect adventure. We'll explore the Cape of Good Hope—a biodiversity hotspot with its Cape floral kingdom and rare penguins, ferry to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent 19 of his 27 years as a political prisoner, and sip wine at 17th century Cape Dutch wineries. On the Garden Route, we look for the “Marine Big Five,” including southern right whales, go kayaking in Knysna Lagoon, and take an intertidal moonlight meander with a marine biologist in search of bioluminescence. We finish up with an unforgettable Big Five safari on private game lands adjoining the epic Kruger Reserve.
Arrive: Cape Town, South Africa
Depart: Johannesburg, South Africa
Enjoy fantastic game walks and game drives in search of the Big Five. Our base is the luxurious Kambaku River Sands, a lodge in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, with an active watering hole, spa, and air-conditioned suites—each with a private plunge pool. Depart on Day 13 via Johannesburg.
Pricing below is per person and based on double occupancy. The earlier you book, the more choice you’ll have. WT also has the most generous cancellation and transfer policies in the industry, we make it easy if you change your mind. Have a small group of your own? Take over an existing date or choose your own. You’ll have your own private guide–and the adventure–all to yourselves!
At time of reservation: $600
130 days prior to departure: Balance
Up to 131 days prior to departure: No charge!
61-130 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost
*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.
Scroll through our signature accommodations for this trip below. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.
Cape Town, South Africa
Days 1-3 (3 nights)
Franschhoek, South Africa
Days 4-6 (3 nights)
La Residence is a boutique luxury accommodation set on a 30-acre estate surrounded by vineyards, olive groves, and plum orchards. There are spectacular views of the mountains and undulating countryside of the Winelands and the quaint town of Franschhoek is just five minutes away. The suites at La Residence are...
Sedgefield, South Africa
Days 7-8 (2 nights)
Set in a spectacular location along the Garden Route, Kambaku@Sea is a boutique hotel positioned high up in the hills above the town of Sedgefield, the jewel of the Garden Route. There are just five luxury suites, all offering breathtaking views of flowing hills, mountain ranges, rivers, and estuaries, and...
Timbavati, South Africa
Days 9-10 (2 nights)
While rustic, Kambaku Klaserie Trails Camp offers a fantastic opportunity get a feel for life in the bush and get away from other travelers. The camp has comfortable tents with a built-in groundsheet, beds, and mosquito netting on the windows. Each tent has en suite toilet facility with a hand-washing...
Timbavati Game Reserve, South Africa
Days 11-12 (2 nights)
Set in the heart of Timbavati Game Reserve, Kambaku River Sands lies along the banks of a dry riverbed, and since the camp is unfenced, you'll enjoy watching a variety of wildlife as they amble through. Ten thatched cottages offer private viewing decks, canopy beds, and a private bath with...
Although this is not a particularly rigorous trip, we still recommend that each participant undertake a program of physical conditioning. Daily walking or regular hiking, jogging, and stair-climbing are excellent preparation for the trip.
Generally, South Africa has a mild climate due to its southerly latitude and the high altitude of its interior regions (above 3,000 feet in altitude on average). There are starkly different climatic zones: the Cape region has a Mediterranean climate with mild summer temperatures averaging in the 70s (“summer” in the Southern Hemisphere is our winter), while the lowveld has a subtropical climate with warm to hot temperatures in summer and cooler evenings.
The safari camps and lodges in our program offer excellent game viewing year round. Most rainfall occurs usually between December and February in the form of afternoon or evening thunderstorms. In general, the climate is warm with cool nights in “winter” (March-August in the Southern Hemisphere).
Cape Town's peak season is September to March, with highs of 65°F in September up to 80°F in February. September to February, there is little rain. Southeasterly winds occur in November and early December. In the cooler months, the daily highs are in the mid-60s. The highest rainfall is in July and August.
During game drives, we can at times get quite close to wild animals. Being very quiet improves everybody's chances of observation. In the interest of safety, your Trip Leader explains limitations on movement while on game drives, in the safari vehicles, and around camp. Incidents with wild animals are extremely rare on safaris, but no camping safari can guarantee immunity from such incidents. Wilderness Travel is not to be held responsible for incidents involving the behavior of wildlife.
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Our Area Specialists know every detail about our tours. They will be happy to answer any questions and help you choose the journey that’s right for you. Contact us to learn more or book your trip today!
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With more than 200 different adventures to choose from, we want to help you find the trip that’s right for you. Our Trip Level system ranks each trip in two ways: a number rating from 1 to 6 according to the activity, and general travel rigors. 1 is the easiest and 6+ the most difficult—see descriptions below for explanations of each number. A plus (+) sign means the trip is a bit more strenuous than other trips of that level. The detailed explanation of each trip—below the bar with the number rating—is perhaps more important, specifying activities, altitudes, hiking, and travel conditions. The Detailed Itinerary, available by download or mail, gives further information. Our Area Managers can also answer questions and guide you to the trip that best suits your interests.
Level 1 – Easiest
Non-camping journeys, optional walks, little elevation gain or loss.
Level 3 – Moderate
Half- to full-day hikes (3-6 hours) over rolling countryside on most days, occasional steep trails. Many of our hotel-based walking tours are in this category, as are our snorkeling adventures.
Level 5 – Strenuous
Full-day hikes (4-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Trips with hiking at average altitudes of 10,000 to 12,000 feet are in this category.