Welcome to ten days of South African highlights for senior travelers that consists of whales, Winelands, safaris, and secret histories. You will experience an authentic, African safari in Mala Mala, which is where luxury meets an immersive wildlife realm. Cape Town provides color, charm, and history. After immersing yourselves in this idyllic city for two days, transfer to the serene coast in Hermanus. After some delightful whale watching, your last destination will be the Cape Winelands, where...
Mala Mala Game Reserve – The Beautiful Tranquility of an African Safari
South Africa is usually a long way from home, and flying and jet lag can be tiresome. You will land in Mala Mala and inhale the arid, savannah air. You will stop and listen to the sounds of hooting baboons and distant elephants. It will be amazing how quickly you can overcome the travel fatigue and how you will instantly feel at home. Safaris in Mala Mala are serene, and by sitting on a private terrace, you can look over a river and watch buffalo as they take a drink. Colobus monkeys may swing elegantly through the trees, while you marvel at how far springbok can jump.
On your first day on safari, you do not need to go on a game drive. Instead, you will settle into your suite and begin to enjoy the show. It does not matter if you fall asleep because it will not seem as if you are wasting precious safari hours. Many visitors think that a safari will be the most adventurous part of their South Africa vacation, but it is usually the most tranquil. Out here, there are no roads, very few vehicles, and nothing but the rhythm of the wild. So, you can settle in, gaze over the Kruger savannah, and enjoy some time to yourself.
Mala Mala Game Reserve – Laid-Back Game Drives and Intimate Wildlife Moments
Sonorous sounds provide an alarm call today, and you may hear grunts and grumpy mammals such as hippos as they make their way back to the river after a night of grazing. Also, from your terrace, you may be able to hear a lion as its roar resonates and echoes throughout the savannah. After a small breakfast, you will then follow these sounds, moving closer to these iconic giants. On your drive today, you may find the reason for the roars such as a lioness as it creeps bashfully among the grass. You are required to remain at a safe distance from the predators as the mating male lion is never in the mood to share. While watching the hippos, you can sense a similar scene: two males may be using their bulk to seek a position of power for a chance to mate.
As your game drive continues, you will begin to check off the famous animals that you desire to see. Giraffes may languidly pass by your vehicle with a strange elegance to their gait, while herds of eland and hartebeest may graze tentatively near the river, watching you with alert eyes and ears. You may also have the luxury of spotting a rhino, which is a giant that moves more apprehensively than you might expect. This will be a scene that brings silence with a critically endangered creature that is a few meters away. These animals are never seen in isolation, and on a game drive, you will enjoy the interactions with the most evocative large and small species as they meet face to face at the watering hole. You will enjoy two game drives today with the option of a nighttime game drive as well.
Day 3 - 4
Mala Mala Game Reserve – The Complete Kruger Safari Experience
For these two days, you will be fully immersed in the Greater Kruger wilderness. Early-morning and late-afternoon game drives will bring intimate moments with the animals, and Mala Mala has quite a cast. Not only is it home to the Big Five, but these five animals are found in abundance. Elephants and buffalo are conspicuous, and you will often hear them before you see them. Lions are the easiest of the big cats to find, and sometimes they even come to lie in the shade that is created by your safari vehicle. Rhinos are secretive but are still a common occurrence in Mala Mala. This is also a superb destination for leopards, and you will usually see at least one per day. The guides know exactly where these cats like to reside, and you can watch one prowl, which will be a surreal experience.
You will also have the pleasure of witnessing hippos, giraffes, springboks, zebras, wildebeests, nyalas, roan antelopes, sables, warthogs, and so many other animals. Located within the Greater Kruger ecosystem, Mala Mala is a large and private concession. Animals are found in abundance due to the permanent water that lies here. There is a lot more wildlife here than in Kruger National Park, but there are hardly any other people. Mala Mala can only be visited by guests who are staying at a Mala Mala lodge. This tranquility helps attract even more animals. There is also a rule that means no more than two vehicles are allowed to be at any one sighting. All this makes Mala Mala an exclusive and laid-back destination for senior travelers. There will be no rushing here, and it will just be you and the wilderness.
Cape Town – Colorful City Streets and Table Mountain
After admiring Africa’s wildlife on a morning game drive, you will be transferred to a nearby airstrip for a direct flight to Cape Town. After four days on safari, you should already have a general understanding of South African culture, especially the laid-back pace that exists at the bottom of the continent. Cape Town preserves its easy-going atmosphere with the help of a magical combination of Table Mountain and Atlantic Ocean beaches. Mountains and coastlines always work to reduce your stress, and the Mother City has both. You will be transferred to your luxury hotel at the V & A Waterfront and have a hotel suite that overlooks the harbor.
The V & A Waterfront is an ideal location for seniors. The area is mostly pedestrianized, and you can walk to many restaurants and idyllic spots that are within 200 meters of your luxurious accommodation. In Cape Town, it is safe at all hours of day and night. The shops stay open late, and you can visit three different markets within five minutes of the hotel. This afternoon, a guide will take you on a tour of Cape Town’s colorful, central streets. Then, as the afternoon light begins to fade, you will ascend Table Mountain in a revolving cable car. You should bring some warm clothes because it does get chilly at the summit, even in the height of summer. The views are sensational, especially at sunset with an entire city that drops into the shadows as the burning, African sun disappears into the Atlantic.
Cape Town – A Day of Culture and History in the Mother City
Stories will whisper from the walls of Robben Island’s prison, and every brick seems to tell a tale of overcoming a struggle. When standing in Nelson Mandela’s cell, you can almost hear the statesman’s words. This was where he spent 18 years of his life, and such a statistic makes Robben Island a very moving experience. Other stories of hardship can be found across the city. Bo-Kaap is a neighborhood of brightly colored houses that were once the homes of slaves. District Six tells a brutal tale of occupation from the apartheid era, but inside these places of affliction, you will experience great hope and joy. Cape Town is changing, and so is South Africa. In order to experience the local culture, you will have to experience all this history in an inspiring, modern realm.
Hermanus – A Quiet Day On South Africa’s Stunning Southern Coastline
Hermanus is where older South Africans go on vacation. The town itself is small and quaint, and it is a couple of blocks that are filled with craft shops, small cafes, and restaurants that overlook Walker Bay. Pristine, sandy beaches dot the coast, and they are usually very quiet even during weekends. A manicured walking trail travels along the cliffside with small benches that offer a view of the whales. Hermanus would be a recommended destination even without the marine giants, but its premier highlight is to watch whales directly from the shore. They often breach as close as 50 meters away, and they are difficult to miss. Not only are the whales so close and enormous, but the resident whale caller also blows on his kelp trumpet to alert the whole town of a sighting.
Hermanus – Some of the World’s Finest Land-Based Whale Watching
Hermanus is a lovely place to rest and relax. This afternoon, you will have some time for the beaches and promenade. This morning, you will be provided with a closer look at the whales on a boat tour. Although we cannot outright guarantee that you will witness these majestic giants, the odds are very good. The whales come here to nurse their newborn calves from July to November, and they also come here to breed. Humpbacks also pass through, and in some years, there have been over 100 whales in Walker Bay, making for incredible hours on the water. Thanks to the whale caller, you may be lucky and continue to spot whales throughout the afternoon. The popular attraction is to find a bench on the promenade and wait for the giants to breach.
Cape Winelands – Sensual Treats and a Vineyard Retreat
Calmness will reign in the Cape Winelands, vines will quiver gently on the morning breeze, and whitewashed farmhouses will shimmer beneath a blue sky. From your vineyard hotel, you can gaze across a green valley and inhale the crisp and clean air. Stellenbosch town is quiet and is partially pedestrianized with streets of old Dutch houses that exude an 18th-century scene. Franschhoek is even smaller and older with just a couple of streets and some quiet restaurants. Other than these two towns, the Cape Winelands is a carpet of vineyards. You will find peace and solitude here, and you will discover the very best wine that South African has to offer.
After a private transfer from Hermanus, you will check into your vineyard lodge. Your standalone suite will be tucked between the vines and will offer a superb view through the valley. Your lunch will be accompanied by a wine tasting at the vineyard. This will be an excellent opportunity to explore classic Winelands' flavors, including the indigenous Pinotage. A wide variety of grapes are grown here, and winemakers do not face the same restrictions as to their European counterparts. Following this wine tasting, you can explore more of the area with visits to one or two farms in the nearby area. The Cape Winelands is also South Africa’s premier food destination, and your guide will make suggestions and reservations for dinner.
Cape Winelands – From Stellenbosch to Shiraz and Serene Dining
Today, you will have a private guide and all of the Winelands to explore. The choice of vineyards to visit will depend on your individual tastes. For example, the Franschhoek region has some superb MCC, which is a sparkling wine that is produced in the Champagne fashion. The best Pinotage comes from a valley that is close to Paarl, and you can meet the owner of the farm where it was first cloned. The Helderberg region produces outstanding Cab and Shiraz, while the Greater Simonsberg is home to the country’s most opulent estates. There is an enormous amount of choice, and your expert guide will ensure that you find wines and vineyards that perfectly suit your tastes.
Cape Town – Departure
From the vineyard, it is only a 45-minute drive to Cape Town International Airport for your outbound flight. Late checkout will be arranged, and your airport transfer will be private.
- Experience an authentic African safari with four days within the exclusive Mala Mala Game Reserve
- Explore the enchanting Cape Winelands and spend two nights at a vineyard lodge
- Spot whales from the shore during two days in the quaint seaside town of Hermanus
- Delve into Cape Town’s history and culture, including Robben Island and Bo-Kaap
- Immerse yourself in the wildlife world as you can combine daytime and nighttime game drives with a hot air balloon flight
- Venture on a cable car ride to the summit of Table Mountain to enjoy one of Cape Town’s secret sunset spots
- Discover South Africa as an incredibly relaxing destination, especially when you are on safari
- Safely come face to face with Africa’s incredible animals, particularly lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and many beautiful ungulates
South Africa has a unique ability to make visitors feel at home. This Rainbow Nation welcomes all with a warm embrace before slowly imparting a unique culture and way of life. From the moment you land, you can feel the importance of taking it easy. From the Kruger to the Cape, you will enjoy all the necessary comforts and luxuries without interrupting your authentic African experience. Many visitors feel a little apprehensive before they travel here. Visiting South Africa can seem like a step beyond the usual vacation, but everyone who visits wants to stay longer and is extremely surprised by how their perceptions contrast reality. South Africa is safe, beautiful, and ideal for any traveler. This handcrafted itinerary will reveal some of the best that the country has to offer.
An African safari is a wonderful way to start, and you will explore the Greater Kruger during a four-day safari in Mala Mala, which is a vast private reserve that is home to one of the continent’s largest animal populations. Buffalo herds will wander past you, elephants and warthogs will meet by the river, and you can track lions and leopards and even see them on a hunt or as they munch on a carcass. From intimate rhino moments to iconic birdlife, Mala Mala is a safari with the big and the small, which is made special by a sense of exclusivity.
You will be out in the wilderness, but your lodge rivals five-star accommodations anywhere in the world. This blend of luxury and authenticity continues in Cape Town, where you have two nights at the V & A Waterfront. After a four-day safari, you will come to appreciate the South African way of life as you fully unwind after your flight. This will make you feel more comfortable in Cape Town and more open to the city’s colorful feast. Two days in the Mother City allows for some leisurely city exploration, including secret histories and enchanting culture. Of course, your trip will also include Table Mountain and the city’s coastline.
From Cape Town, it is a two-hour drive to Hermanus, which is one of the world’s ultimate whale watching spots. Here, you may spot breaching whales directly from the shore before moving closer on a whale watching cruise. Equable and enchanting, Hermanus is a longstanding favorite of South African retirees just like your next destination: the Cape Winelands. Your final two nights will be spent at a vineyard lodge, where you will explore different wine farms and taste with the winemakers. Stellenbosch and Franschhoek will impart their old-world charms, and as ten days come to an end, it can feel as if South Africa is a part of you.
Consider learning more about our travelers’ best South Africa vacation activities by reading their South Africa travel reviews.
$4,395 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
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Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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