9-Day South Africa Safari

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Cape Town
(South Africa)

Johannesburg
(South Africa)

Can start any day

Suitable for solo travellers

Suitable for all ages

Can be customised

Overview
Cost
Activities & Transport
Travel Advice
Map
Images

This 9-day safari visits the iconic cities of Cape Town and Johannesburg-Soweto accompanied by specialist local guides, along with time in a wildlife-rich private game reserve in Greater Kruger.

Each of the Cape Town daily itineraries can be modified and are interchangeable with each other.

This safari is a private journey and not a group tour.  It can be further customised to suit the number of days you wish to travel, and can also include other destinations.

From US$3105 per person, based on two adults in a double/twin room.

Children under 12 receive a discount.
The cost excludes regional flights during this safari but we can book these for you. Road transfers from/to Johannesburg can also be booked.

COST INCLUDES:

  • All accommodation (en-suite)
  • All breakfasts in Cape Town and Johannesburg
  • All meals and drinks in Greater Kruger
  • Private guide and transport in Cape Town and Johannesburg (excluding evenings)
  • All wildlife activities in Greater Kruger
  • All entrances and National Park fees
  • Private airport transfers throughout
  • All local taxes

COST EXCLUDES:

  • International flights to/from Africa
  • Regional flights
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Personal travel insurance and visas
  • Items of a personal nature, such as drinks and laundry (unless specified)
  • Tips for all guides, drivers, domestics, porters and wait staff

ACTIVITIES

  • Day tours in Cape Town with a private Compass Odyssey guide.
  • Day tour in Johannesburg with a private Compass Odyssey guide and a local township guide.
  • Game drives and bush walks in Greater Kruger.

The game drives and bush walks may be shared with fellow lodge guests.
The bush walk is subject to guide availability and the age/fitness of the participant, who should be able to comfortably walk at least 5km/3mi over uneven terrain.  A game drive will always be provided should a bush walk not be possible.

TRANSPORT

  • Day tours and airport transfers in Cape Town and Johannesburg in an air-conditioned mini-van.
  • Greater Kruger airport transfers in an air-conditioned mini-van.
  • Game drives in a custom-designed open-sided 4×4 safari vehicle.

WHEN TO VISIT

South Africa is blessed with one of the most temperate climates in Africa. The seasons are generally the same as in other southern hemisphere countries, with spring/summer from October to April and winter/autumn from May to September. 

In Cape Town, the seasons are opposite to the safari regions. Rain and cold weather can be expected during the autumn/winter months and dry, sunny weather in spring/summer.  However it is worth noting that due to its location at the southern-most tip of the continent, the weather can be quite dramatic and can pass through the region very quickly. Some of the nicest days can be experienced during winter, though it can be preceded and/or followed by wet and windy weather. The city is a very popular destination in spring and summer for both locals and international visitors, who come for the pleasant climate (warm but very rarely hot) as well as the nightlife, cuisine, scenery and beaches.

Around Johannesburg and down in the Lowveld around Greater Kruger, spring/summer is characterised by hot humid days and afternoon thunderstorms. Daytime temperatures can get very high followed by cooler, comfortable nights. Vegetation in the Lowveld is at its highest and thickest during these months which can make wildlife-spotting difficult although the region’s birdlife is at its most prolific. Travelling in this same area during the autumn/winter brings clear and warm days with cool to chilly evenings. Known as the “dry season”, this is possibly the best period for wildlife viewing as the permanent waterholes attract many animals, and the thinning vegetation offers unobstructed views. 

Within the dry season, we recommend coming in May or June as there can still be some greenery in the landscape but there is no risk of rain plus fewer visitors compared to the peak visitor months from July to September. It is worth noting that the month of October can be especially hot and humid, as the rains have usually not arrived but the cool winter weather has ended.

 

VISAS

Your passport must be valid for at least six months after the end of your time in South Africa, and it is a good idea to bring a few photocopies in case you lose the original.  Whilst not a requirement, we also recommend parents of non-South African children under 18 years of age entering South Africa to bring a copy of the birth certificate should the child be travelling with just one parent or with parent/s who have a different surname to that of the child.

Although most visitors are not required to obtain a visa before entering South Africa, this is not applicable to all nationalities. Compass Odyssey does not issue visas nor can we complete visa applications for our travellers. While we will obviously assist our travellers with the documentation required for any visa applications, it is the responsibility of our travellers to investigate the visa requirements for their journey and to complete any necessary applications.

An immigration form sometimes needs to be completed when entering and departing South Africa. This form requests information such as passport and birth particulars, as well as the address of your accommodation. Prior to your safari, we provide you with a personal Safari Dossier that includes a swathe of information including the booking references, transport timings and contact numbers specific to your journey.

 

TRAVELLER’S HEALTH

Yellow Fever and malaria are the two major health considerations for travellers coming to South Africa.

Yellow Fever is a viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes, and approximately 200,000 cases occur each year with the vast majority of these occurring in parts of Africa and Central/South America.  A Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is not required for entering South Africa unless you are coming from – or you are in airport transit for more than 12 hours within – a country deemed to be infected with Yellow Fever. The World Health Organisation lists the southern African countries of Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe as being free from Yellow Fever. For further clarification on Yellow Fever, refer to tables 4-23, 4-24 and 4-27 on this page of the website for the US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Malaria is present in the far north east of South Africa, including Greater Kruger where there is a moderate risk from September to May during the wet summer months.  There is no risk of malaria in all other parts of the country. See here for further information.

A number of other tropical diseases are present in South Africa but generally the biggest health risk you will face on your safari is usually an upset tummy (often caused by dehydration) or a cold.  For complete peace of mind we recommend you visit your local GP or Travel Health Clinic.

COVID-19 Entrance Requirements

 

Itinerary
DAY 1-4: CAPE TOWN

Day 1Welcome to South Africa, “Amkela” Cape Town

You arrive at Cape Town International Airport and our local guide says amkela (“welcome” in the local isiXhosa language) to the Mother City. As you travel into the city, you fall under the watchful eye of Table Mountain and can look across Table Bay to Robben Island and beyond. Our guest house is located in the chic inner-city neighborhood of Gardens, one of the oldest parts of the city and within a short, safe walking distance to vibrant and trendy Kloof Street and its southern extension, Long Street. All along here you’ll find restaurants, coffee shops and bistros along with a wide range of shops and markets peddling creative and authentic wares. Depending on your arrival time, your guide will be most happy to commence your exploration this afternoon should you wish.

Accommodation: Tintagel Guest House
Mid-range 4-star guest house located in Cape Town

Day 2Cape Town – “History & Heroes” city walk, Table Mountain & Robben Island

Sheltering between ocean and mountain – with a national park at its heart – this spiritual city bears a soul influenced by a cultural melting pot of indigenous Bushman peoples, settlers of Dutch, Indo-Malay, French, British and German origin, and African Nguni tribes originally from the north, such as the Xhosa. Today we show off our Mother City with an insightful and enjoyable walk through the city’s historical heart followed by the dramatic ascension by cable car of Table Mountain. (Cableway closed for two-week annual maintenance in late-July to early-August). For nearly 400 years, Robben Island was a place of exile and imprisonment for those regarded as outcasts and troublemakers – the most famous being Nelson Mandela who spent 18 years of his life here. The 3½ hour tour includes a return boat trip across Table Bay, a visit to the Maximum Security Prison, interaction with an ex-political prisoner and a 45-minute guided bus tour of the island.

Accommodation: Tintagel Guest House
Mid-range 4-star guest house located in Cape Town

Meals:
Breakfast

Day 3Cape Town - Cape Peninsula, Cape Point & the Cape of Good Hope

A relaxing day awaits you today on a meander around the scenic Cape Peninsula with our Compass Odyssey guide. Leaving the city behind, you first visit the eclectic fishing village of Kalk Bay and the historical naval town of Simon’s Town and its resident colony of African penguins at nearby Boulder’s Beach. You then venture further south to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, where the many legends and shipwreck stories that abound at the “Cape of Storms” are brought to life. After visiting both Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope, you travel back to the city via the Atlantic coastline and the dramatic and picturesque Chapman’s Peak Drive.

Accommodation: Tintagel Guest House
Mid-range 4-star guest house located in Cape Town

Meals:
Breakfast

Day 4Cape Town - Cape Winelands Eco-Encounter

South Africa’s celebrated Cape Winelands region is not just internationally famous for its exquisite wines, but is also highly valued for its extraordinary beauty and diversity. Set in soaring mountains and sweeping valleys amidst the carefully preserved, natural bounty of the Cape Floral Kingdom, the Cape’s vineyards are rich in fascinating tradition, history and unique Cape-Dutch architecture, as well as exceptional wines and cuisine. Today offers a meaningful and inspirational visit to a number of vineyards, allowing you to enjoy the fine wine and good food on offer with the peace of mind that our hosts are committed to both the environmental and social welfare of this scenic and historical region.

Should the theme of this day not be of interest, you may prefer instead to visit the world-renowned Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden or the many museums within the city. Or you may prefer a shark viewing excursion (additional expense and seasonal).

Accommodation: Tintagel Guest House
Mid-range 4-star guest house located in Cape Town

Meals:
Breakfast

DAY 5-7: GREATER KRUGER

Day 5Greater Kruger – Private Wildlife Reserve

Our guide returns you this morning to Cape Town Airport for your direct flight to South Africa’s wildlife-rich Lowveld from where our local driver transfers you into the Associated Private Nature Reserves – better known as the Greater Kruger – and you immediately embark on your first game drive on the way to your camp in Klaserie Private Nature Reserve. This afternoon and over the next two days, you can anticipate quality wildlife viewing within this “Big Five” reserve adjoining Kruger National Park.

Accommodation: Senalala Safari Lodge
Mid-range 4-star lodge located in the Greater Kruger

Meals:
Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Day 6-7Greater Kruger - Private Wildlife Reserve

One of the most undeveloped and pristine wilderness areas of the Greater Kruger, animals migrate freely between Klaserie and Kruger National Park, creating an incredible biosphere and one of Africa’s premier safari destinations. Located in a remote and private location within Klaserie Private Nature Reserve and managed by James and Corlia Steyn, Senalala Luxury Safari Camp offers a truly authentic bush safari experience. Set on the banks of the seasonal Ntsiri River, you can expect an abundance of quality wildlife viewing while at Senalala, with the camp itself overlooking a watering hole that draws a constant flow of wildlife. You can choose a game drive or bush walk – the latter is a specialty of Senalala.

Accommodation: Senalala Safari Lodge
Mid-range 4-star lodge located in the Greater Kruger

Meals:
Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 8-9: JOHANNESBURG

Day 8Johannesburg

Your last morning in the Greater Kruger offers a final morning game drive (time permitting) before you return to the airport for your flight to Johannesburg. Our local guide greets you as you enter the arrivals area and transports you to our welcoming guesthouse in the city’s leafy suburb of Craighall Park.

Craighall Park sits within a collection of leafy neighbourhoods on the western side of Johannesburg and is one of the city’s oldest and more upmarket suburbs. Its large properties and epic gardens lend the neighbourhood a sense of green tranquillity despite the close proximity to a number of major road arteries. The guesthouse owner is happy to make a dinner reservation at the “Corner Cafe”, which is – literally – around the corner.

Accommodation: Rutland House
Mid-range 3-star guest house located in Johannesburg

Meals:
Breakfast

Day 9Johannesburg - Soweto & the Apartheid Museum

Today is a fascinating, informative and inspiring cross-cultural voyage of discovery into the many facets of South African society. You first visit the Apartheid Museum for a fascinating audio-visual experience depicting South Africa’s “long walk to freedom” (the title of Nelson Mandela’s autobiography) from apartheid. This is followed by a visit to the famous, sprawling township of Soweto where you are also accompanied by a local informal guide. You visit Nelson Mandela’s former home (the Mandela Museum), the Hector Pieterson memorial and nearby Vilikazai Street (famous for being the location of two Nobel Peace laureates – Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu), as well as ‘Millionaires Row’ and Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital (one of the world’s largest with almost 3000 beds). Towards the end of the day, you depart Soweto and we say Hamba kahle (“Goodbye and go well” in isiZulu) as you return to Johannesburg-OR Tambo for an evening flight back home.

Meals:
Breakfast