Magic and Romance: A Honeymoon Tour of South Africa

Close up of African leopard resting on a tree branch
A 10 day trip to South Africa 
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Slip away into the magic of South Africa on a tour that explores the sparkling streets of Cape Town, the raw beauty of Hermanus and the sheer wonder of the bush. Wander the antique stores and vineyards of Cape Town, and climb to the top of Table Mountain. Watch for breaching whales from your oceanfront lodge, averting your eyes only to stroll along the boardwalks and beaches that fringe the shoreline. Complete the trip in the exclusive Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, where you will have countless moments with Africa’s most famed and coveted species. Seen from the luxury and comfort of some of the country’s most extravagant lodges, few custom tours will better set a mood of romance and adventure.  

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Most tours are customized for private travel.

General Information

Photos
African giraffe reaching up high and eating leaves off of a tall tree
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Cape Town, Table Mountain National Park, Hermanus, Walker Bay Nature Reserve, Sabi Sands Game Reserve

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Cape Town – Welcome to South Africa! Arrive in Cape Town and Acquaint Yourself with the Ellerman House

Welcome to South Africa! After a lengthy journey, your flight will descend over the sparkling city of Cape Town, signaling the beginning of your romantic African adventure. Having cleared customs in Johannesburg, you will only need to collect your baggage and meet your private driver at baggage claim. The driver and vehicle will be at your service for the entirety of your visit to the city. Together, you will move from the airport along the breathtaking Atlantic Seaboard towards the breathtaking Ellerman House.

This converted mansion in the Bantry Bay suburb is renowned for having one of the best views of the Atlantic coastline. Settle into your artistically decorated sea view suite, and unwind with a glass of local South African wine. Spend what remains of your day quietly exploring the sprawling gardens and the collection of fine art before indulging in a spectacular meal at the restaurant. Chef Veronica is famed for her ability to combine local produce and flavors, while creating unique and inventive dishes at this prized and exclusive restaurant.

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation

Day 2: Cape Town – Explore Cape Town at Your Own Pace, Spending the Day Visiting Penguins and the Cape of Good Hope

Enjoy a breakfast of fresh fruits, pastries, and eggs as you gaze out over the ocean before meeting with your private driver for the day’s adventure. This driver will be at your service for the duration of your stay in Cape Town, and we will work together to design a program that fits your tastes and preferences while exploring the city. It is also possible to hire a private vehicle, for those who would rather self-drive. What follows are sites and activities we recommend visiting; however, the days are entirely customizable. 

As you adjust to the time change and the rhythm of Cape Town, spend today embarking on a full day guided tour of the Cape of Good Hope,  Africa’s most southeasterly point. You will drive along the scenic road, stopping at spectacular lookout points over harbors and beaches. Bird enthusiasts may enjoy detouring through Africa’s largest bird park, the World of Birds. Here, countless rare and endemic species can be viewed as you walk through numerous aviaries. Others may prefer to pass through Kirstenbosch, the city’s lush and expansive botanical gardens, which feature a number of prehistoric and near-extinct trees and plants. Boulder’s Beach is another entertaining detour, given its population of penguins who waddle between massive boulders and sandy beaches. However, The highlight of the day is the climb to the lighthouse on Cape Point, from which you will be able to soak in unbelievable views of the shoreline, Table Mountain National Park, and the Atlantic Ocean.

Returning to Ellerman House in the late afternoon, you will be left with just enough time for sundown on your private verandah before setting off to explore one of the city’s famed restaurants. Cape Town is quickly earning itself a reputation for remarkable and inventive cuisine and is becoming a top destination for food enthusiasts. We will gladly provide you with a list of must-visit restaurants, along with reservation and transfers.  

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, transfer, accommodation

Day 3: Cape Town – Continue Exploring Cape Town, Visiting either the Vineyards, Museums or Shops at your Leisure

Having explored the region’s natural beauty yesterday, you may wish to spend today either learning of the city’s rich history, or exploring the surrounding vineyards. It is also possible to spend the entire day perusing the countless shops that stipple the city, losing yourself amidst antiques and high fashion.

For those interested in South African and Capetonian history, it is well worth hopping on the ferry and sailing out to Robben Island to visit Nelson Mandela’s prison cell (weather permitting). This poignant tour through what is now a museum highlights various components of the anti-Apartheid struggle and post-Apartheid South Africa. Others may enjoy heading to either the South African, Jewish or Bo-Kaap Museum, each of which reveals different facets of South African history and culture. A day at the museum is well paired with explorations of the city’s shops and antique stores. Greenmarket Square is a favorite shopping destination for those enthusiastic about antiques. It has been an open-air flea market in the heart of the city since 1710 and is renowned for its treasures. Alternatively, Long Street features innumerable South African designers and street side cafes and is perfect for aimless wandering and window-shopping.

Wine aficionados may prefer embarking on a full day guided tour of Constantia and Stellenbosch vineyards. Drive through some of the country’s most famous wine estates, sampling some of the best new-world wine available. Lunch is central to this tour, and we will assist you in strategically selecting a vineyard for a fabulous meal in a breathtaking setting. If interested in learning more about the wine process, it is well worth visiting the Groot Constantia Museum, where you can wander through this historic wine estate.  Note that it is possible to alter this trip to include an overnight in Stellenbosch should you wish the vineyards to be a more central component of your trip.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 4: Cape Town – Climb (or Cable-Car) up Table Mountain, and Wander along the V&A Waterfront

A visit to Cape Town is incomplete without climbing (or taking the cable car) to the top of Table Mountain or neighboring Lion’s Head. From the top of these iconic mountains, you will have sensational views over the city and the surrounding region. Hiking trails along the summit carry visitors through the unique fynbos landscape, highlighting the plant species that are endemic to this particular corner of Africa. The peaks of either mountain make for an idyllic picnic location, which Ellerman House will gladly help organize. Note that the hike and cable-car are both weather dependent.

Descend from the peak and drive down to the harbor front to spend what remains of the day wandering along the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. This active harbor sits at the base of Table Mountain and is filled with shops, restaurants and Cape Fur seals. Wander along the boardwalk, admiring crafts and curios that feature South African design and taste. Sail out into the harbor at sunset for yet another vantage point of the city, before settling into one of many restaurants for your final Cape Town meal.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 5: Cape Town to Walker Bay Nature Reserve – Drive to Hermanus in the Walker Bay Nature Reserve on the Atlantic Ocean

Following a final breakfast on your private verandah, you will leave Ellerman House and drive towards the town of Hermanus and the sensational Birkenhead House. Located between jagged cliffs and tranquil beaches, with a consistently fresh breeze blowing through, this is the perfect place for oceanside relaxation. Birkenhead House itself sits high above the coastline on a rocky cliff, perfectly located for observing sunrises and sunsets. With all meals included with your stay here, this house will become your quiet (and dazzling) oasis. Settle into your creatively adorned suite, which looks out over either mountains or ocean.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 6: Walker Bay Nature Reserve – Enjoy a Relaxing Day on the Atlantic Coast, Indulging at Birkenhead’s World Class Spa

Your time at Birkenhead House and Hermanus is again, entirely customizable. Some may enjoy spending countless hours exploring the fynbos covered mountains as you hike along numerous trails that weave through the Fernkloof Nature Reserve. Others may prefer to spend their days ocean-side on the pristine beaches, nestled between protective mountains. 

As you wake up this morning, enjoy a quiet breakfast overlooking the shore before wandering towards the property’s world-class spa. Indulge in a restorative massage or a body ritual to set the mood of relaxation for the duration of your stay.  In the afternoon, wander along the eight-kilometer trail that connects Birkenhead House with the town of Hermanus, and spend the afternoon exploring the shops and cafes that stipple the sidewalks. Visit the Old Harbor Museum for a glimpse into the city’s past, before sampling an artisanal meal and a cocktail as the sunsets. A driver from Birkenhead will gladly collect you from a café of your choosing, returning you to the lodge for another delightful meal. 

What’s Included: breakfast, accommodation

Day 7: Walker Bay Nature Reserve – Set out into the Atlantic Ocean, in Search of the Southern Right Whale

Hermanus is most often visited between May and December when the migrating Southern Right Whale passes through the bay. While these majestic creatures are visible from the decks at Birkenhead House, many prefer to set out onto the Atlantic Ocean on a whale watching tour for greater proximity (and excitement). After your boat powers over the roughest part of the sea, spend the morning searching the rolling swells for dorsal fins and spray from the blowholes. Eventually, you will likely catch a massive young male breaching out of the corner of your eye – quickly taking your breath away. Enjoy the subsequent hours surrounded by these magnificent giants as they seamlessly fly through the waters. If lucky enough to visit during the month of August, be sure to keep an eye out for newborn calves, as this is the time they are most commonly born.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 8: Walker Bay Nature Reserve to Sabi Sands – Return to Cape Town and Fly to the Fabulous Singita Boulders Camp bordering Kruger National Park

Early this morning, you will return by road to Cape Town, where you will catch a flight to northeast South Africa. Landing in Nelspruit, you will immediately board a private flight that will land on a bush airstrip in the heart of the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve. The adventure begins when you meet a member of the Singita Boulders Camp and are transferred to the spectacular property in an open-aired game viewing vehicle. You will drive through the heart of the Sabi Sand Reserve, quickly reaching the boulder filled banks of the Sabi River. You will be ushered into this airy and tranquil lodge with a refreshing fruit drink, moving casually through the expansive property to your private suite. Take the remainder of the afternoon to unwind in your private plunge pool, before eventually wandering to the main lodge for tea.

Following tea and snacks, you will set out for your first game drive. Led by an expert ranger and highly skilled tracker, you will drive throughout the dirt tracks that intersect the Sabi Sands Reserve in search of intimate wildlife encounters. With only a handful of properties permitted to traverse these roads, you can expect near solitude in this stunning African landscape. Pause by zebra, wildebeest and impala as you continue on the search for the region’s famed species, including lions and elephants. As the sun sinks in the sky, stop in an open field to indulge in a timeless safari tradition: bush sundowners and canapés. Sip a gin and tonic as the sky transforms around you, before returning to the vehicle for a night drive. An impressive dinner will be served back at the lodge under the starry night sky. All courses are served with recommended wine pairings that are drawn from Singita’s famed and prized wine cellar. Wine aficionados may even enjoy taking it a step further, and participating in a wine tasting in the lodge’s private cellar. As your night draws to a close, a guard will escort you back to your private cabin where you will slip into a warm bath before falling into a deep sleep.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, tour, accommodation

Day 9: Sabi Sands – Enjoy a Full Day Safari through the Sabi Sands Game Reserve

This morning, you will rise before the sun for the quintessential African experience: a day in the bush on game drives. Hot coffee and biscuits will help liven your senses as you meet your ranger and fellow guests in the main lodge before departing. Return to the dirt roads in your open-air vehicle to begin this morning’s search for wildlife. While there are never guarantees in this wilderness, relying on the expertise of your ranger and tracker often reveals solitary leopards, prides of lion and – for those with a bit of luck – a pack of wild dogs. Pause at some point during the morning to refuel with coffee and snacks, examining the abundant life around you. After a few hours in the bush, you will return to the lodge, where you will be greeted with an elaborate breakfast of fresh fruits, eggs, pastries, and yogurt. Given your isolation in the bush, this breakfast will be quite inviting.

The following hours will be spent entirely at your leisure. Some may wish to pamper themselves at the Boulder’s Spa, while others may prefer to lounge poolside with a book from the library.  Be sure to keep an eye on the surrounding bush as curious wildlife often wanders by your private pool for a drink. Lunch will be served outdoors at the main lodge before you return to the vehicle for an afternoon game drive. Continue with the search for the remaining members of the Big Five – the elusive and endangered rhinoceros, and enormous herds of African buffalo. Pause to learn about the strength of the dung beetle and the call of the ‘go away’ bird before pausing for another sundown. Stay out a little later tonight for some remarkable star gazing, listening to your ranger as he or she tells you the stories and myths of the nighttime constellations. Keep an ear out for noises in the bush as the nocturnal landscape stirs around you.

What’s Included: breakfast, all-inclusive game drive, accommodation

Day 10: Sabi Sands – Squeeze in a Final Early Morning Game Drive before Catching a Flight Back to Johannesburg and Onwards

This morning, you will again rise early to fit in a final morning game drive before beginning your journey home. As the sun rises over the bush, your guide and tracker will spend the coming hours searching for favorite and unseen species, rounding off your African bush experience. Enjoy a final cup of coffee as the sun climbs high in the sky before returning to your lodge for your last African breakfast. You will then return to the bush airstrip, where you will catch a private flight to Nelspruit, which will continue towards Johannesburg in time for your international departure.

Of course, this trip is highly customizable, and it is always possible to extend the adventure a few more days. Whether you prefer to spend more time in the bush, or would perhaps rather explore the vibrant and re-invented city of Johannesburg, we will be happy to tailor this trip perfectly to your preferences.

What’s Included: breakfast, all-inclusive game drive, transfer

Price

Starting Price 

$3,995
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.