Tuesday, February 13th, 2018
ARRIVAL TO CAPE TOWN (by Noon)
On arrival at Cape Town Airport, you will collect your luggage and proceed to the Arrivals Hall. Here you will be met by your Hills of Africa travel representative (look for your name on a sign) and transferred to Babylonstoren in the Cape Winelands (about a 45 minute drive).
Check-in to your one bedroom suite and meet your roommate. Take a walk around the property, get settled and then meet up in the Greenhouse at 3pm for a welcome tea for hugs and introductions.
Rest and restore before our first dinner at the renowned restaurant onsite, Babel.
Note: A suggested hotel will be provided to anyone wishing to arrive to Capetown on the 12th to adjust to the time difference before starting the journey.
WEdnesday, February 14th, 2018
No rush this morning but don't miss breakfast. Babel in the morning is personally one of my all-time favorite morning delights. Homemade everything!
CAPE WINELANDS TOUR
We will be collected from the farm at approximately 9AM. Today we have a very special and exclusive day planned with a private-guided tour of the Cape Winelands with wine tasting. The route will change depending on our interests and we will be led by one of the top five tour guides in South Africa. She is truly a gem and this day will be etched in your memories for a long time.
LUNCH will unfold at Overture way up in Hidden Valley. Established by Bertus Basson, it is everything you could ask for in a countryside lunch. Open kitchen, outdoor patio, fine food and a view over the vast countryside. During lunch we will present a topic, salon style, and get to know each other's ambitions and dreams.
DINNER is back at Babylonstoren in their rustic bakery where they will serve a casual 3-course, Italian style meal.
THURSday, February 15th, 2018
Sleep in or...
FARM TOUR 8AM
Every morning there is a guided walk around the farm with one of the gardeners, who takes guests up to the koppie (hill), through the fynbos area and the vlei (wetland), on to the citrus orchards and back past the dam. Seeing the farm from atop Babylonstoren koppie is breathtaking, offering a panoramic view of the entire farm & hotel, neighboring farms and the mountains beyond.
GARDEN TOUR 10AM
One of our experienced gardeners will be your guide on this tour, during which we encourage guests to pick, taste, smell and touch while walking through our garden. Each of the 300 plant varieties is edible or has medicinal value. The beautiful garden is not only pleasing to the eye, but also provides the restaurants with fresh produce, harvested daily. Our enthusiastic guides will share some of the garden's special stories with you and give practical gardening tips.
Later this morning, you will be transferred from the Cape Winelands to Twelve Apostles Hotel in Cape Town.
After checking in to the hotel, we'll enjoy Tea by the Sea and an art tour of the property.
Then a little down time before dinner for some more quiet time and journal work.
DINNER tonight is at the POT LUCK CLUB
LODGING: 12 APOSTLES
FRIDAY, February 16th, 2018
This morning we will be collected from the hotel lobby for an enriching experience. Your Uthando South Africa Tour will be truly special. We'll get a first hand look at some of the social problems confronting many South Africans and the innovative and inspirational ways in which these problems are being handled. The tour is not a township tour, it's not a trip down guilt lane, it's not a begging bowl route. The tour is a field excursion to discover, learn, understand, see, experience, feel and most importantly, be inspired! While the world goes about its daily chores, earning a living and living a life, millions of people around the globe are making amazing human stories in the face of almost insurmountable adversity. Uthando (Love) South Africa offers visitors to South Africa, the opportunity to obtain a glimpse into these amazing stories. This is an authentic, non-commercialized view of this aspect of South Africa.
The tour starts with a drive through the townships of Gugulethu, Nyanga, Crossroads, Philippi and Khayelitsha, giving some background to the daily lives of people living in these sprawling communities and visiting some of the memorials and sites of brave political struggle against the Apartheid government.
First visit is to the amazingly productive community garden managed by Abalimi Bezekhaya ("Planters of the Home"), where the group will have a chance to learn about the impact of urban agriculture and community gardens on local communities. The director of Abalimi is an Ashoka Fellow, and the project is the source of much interest internationally as they are proving that community gardens can also be commercially viable.
We then visit the Thokozani Brothers Choir and after school group. This renowned choir group also runs an after-school program providing musical skills and life skills teaching to children from Khayelitsha (an impoverished community which is home to 1 million people). The group will showcase their wonderful work with singing that is truly inspirational.
Finally, the group will visit the Volcano Arts Project. The project creates productions with dance, music and drama as well as running theatre development workshops in Nyanga township. Performances are based on community issues and themes such as HIV / AIDS, domestic violence and drug abuse. In the townships there is limited opportunity for budding performers and artists to showcase their talents, and Volcano aims to redress this. There will be an interactive session where the group will learn gumboot dancing, drumming and learn to play the most beautiful instrument in Africa, the marimba.
LUNCH: 4 ROOMED eKASI where we will meet with Abigail Mbalo, who is the enigmatic personality behind the new restaurant in Khayelitsha in Cape Town's township. After working passionately as a dental technician for 17 years, Abigail changed her path when she reached the top six on MasterChef South Africa season 3.
What originally started as a food truck has expanded into this space, a concept inspired by her childhood spent in four-roomed homes that would be shared by many families. This upbringing instilled in Abigail a strong sense of Ubuntu, the connection between the self and others. Her desire to work with food mostly stems from her observations of "the impact that social imbalances had and still have in our communities".
DINNER: GRAND BEACH CAFE
Set within a restored warehouse, paying tribute to our eco policy, Grand Beach Cafe is positioned on a private beach in Granger Bay. Drawing inspiration from the magnificent surrounds, our Beach Cafe menu focuses on the freshest possible produce being simply prepared with great passion for diverse cuisines by grand chefs.
SATURDAY, February 17th, 2018
This morning, at 9:00am, you will be collected by your private guide for a full day of Cape Town's City and Gourmet private guiding.
You will begin the day by going to the top of Table Mountain (weather dependent), where you will enjoy superb views of Cape Town.
So much about a country and a culture is expressed through its cuisine. In South Africa much of the cuisine is a home cuisine and to get a taste you really need to search hard. As such this tour aims to combine the history of our country and city through exploring the back streets to find the tastes that represent all of our rainbow nation. Today we walk the streets of Cape Town, with your private guide, and experience its history, its people and its gourmet delights. En route we stop to taste a mixture of traditional food, South African street food and to visit some artisan foodie and coffee shops. This way you will enjoy a real taste of the Cape!
DINNER: NV-80. Since its opening, NV-80 has become a popular dining solution for not only locals in the area but also the rest of Cape Town.
SUNDAY, February 18th, 2018
This morning you will be collected and transferred to Cape Town's international airport.
You will check in for your charter flight to Phinda Game Reserve.
On arrival you will be met and transferred to camp.
Phinda Forest Lodge
Phinda Private Game Reserve encompasses an impressive 23,000 hectares (56,800 acres) of prime wilderness land in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Showcasing one of the continent's finest game viewing experiences &Beyond Phinda features Africa's Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino), endangered black rhino.
Set deep in the heart of a rare and beautiful dry sand forest, the spectacular Forest Lodge at &Beyond Phinda fuses architectural design and conservation. The creation of this award-winning safari lodge was an exemplary exercise in building eco-sensitive structures with a light footprint (not one tree was felled during construction). Inventively designed in Zulu Zen style, each handcrafted, glass-encased suite is a combination of glass, wood and minimalist design incorporating high-gloss wooden floors, richly tactile fabrics and crimson Zulu artefacts.
These 16 private stilted suites each feature luxurious ensuite bathrooms with slate hand basins, and viewing decks where guests can awake to the sight of graceful nyala and duiker outside the glass walls. Unwind in the lodge's sparkling rim flow swimming pool, or relax in the Lodge sitting areas with expansive viewing decks affording panoramic views of the game-filled plains.
LODGING: PHINDA GAME RESERVE
MONDAY, February 19th, 2018
Our safari guides will wake us early this morning for our first morning drives. This is a magic time of day for viewing the animals as they go about their daily routine before the weather heats up and they look for shade. Today we follow the beat of the animals!
A typical safari day schedule...
- 6AM Coffee/Tea wake up
- 6:30AM Light breakfast snack
- 7:00AM Leave on game drive
- 9:00AM Breakfast in the forest
- 11:30AM Return for Brunch
- 12:00 - 3:00PM Siesta
- 4:00PM Afternoon game drive
- 7:30PM Return for dinner
LODGING: PHINDA GAME RESERVE
TUESDAY, February 20th, 2018
Another day on safari. Steal some time with the journey photographer to capture this moment in an individual lifestyle shot. Phinda is the perfect backdrop.
If the weather permits, maybe we'll dine outside, protected by a traditional boma structure.
WEDNESDAY, February 21ST, 2018
Today you will take a shared, light aircraft charter flight to Johannesburg's international airport via Kruger Mpumulanga. Departure time will be confirmed the prior evening by camp staff.
Estimated Charter Flight Times:
10:00am Depart Phinda Game Reserve
2:25pm Arrive Johannesburg (JNB)
On arrival at the Johannesburg charter flight terminal, your Hills of Africa Travel representative will meet you in the charter flight arrival lounge (look for your name on a sign) and transfer you to the Johannesburg Airport main terminal.
Our journey ends and we return home with a renewed purpose.