South Africa

12 Day Culinary, Cultural and Adventure Tour

  • Overview
  • Highlights
  • COVID-19
  • Itinerary Disclaimer
  • Introduction to South Africa
  • Weather
  • Visas / Passport
  • Emergency Contact
  • Arrival in Cape Town
  • Accommodation
  • Fitness / Table Mountain Hike
  • Early Arrival and Late Departure
  • Safety
  • Power
  • Food
  • Drinking Water
  • International Flights to South Africa
  • Luggage and Domestic Flight
  • Health / Vaccinations
  • Travel Insurance
  • Stay Connected
  • Internet
  • Money
  • Culture
  • Gratuities
  • Travellers code of conduct

Overview

This 4-part itinerary is an accumulation of the best South Africa has to offer. Starting with the iconic Mother City of Cape Town and her many attractions, cultures, cuisines and beauty, followed by the picturesque South African Winelands, known as the gastronomic route of South Africa. Journey to world-renowned vineyards, taste exquisite wines and enjoy meals in hand-selected restaurants. A road trip along the world-famous Route 62 towards Oudtshoorn, the ostrich capital of the world, lies in the heart of the Klein Karoo (a semi-desert). Inside the foothills of the Swartberg mountain range lies the breathtaking Cango Cave with its vast chambers. Leave the Klein Karoo and journey over the mountains on the Outeniqua pass and be greeted by an abundance of greenery entering the Garden Route towards Wilderness. Paddle on the placid waterways through an indigenous forest to a nearby waterfall. The fourth and final element of the tour, the Safari, includes exciting morning and afternoon game drives. Enjoy downtime at the pool, take a guided Game Walk or an educational tour, go mountain biking or enjoy a relaxing spa treatment. Evening cocktails and candlelit dinner under the African night sky with the Big-5 never too far away.

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Highlights

    • Discover Cape Town’s history, culture, landmarks.
    • Cape Malay cooking course in the Bo-Kaap.
    • A cultural dining-experience.
    • Summer Sunset Concert.
    • Hike the iconic Table Mountain and Lion’s Head (leisurely).
    • Glass bottom boat to Seal Island from Houtbay.
    • Visit Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope.
    • See/swim with the African penguins.
    • Wine tour, tastings & parings.
    • Route 62 Road Trip.
    • Visit an Ostrich farm in  Oudtshoorn, the ostrich capital of the world.
    • Explore the majestic Cango Caves.
    • Kayaking in Wilderness, Garden Route.
    • Visit an Aloe farm and see traditional Bushman tapping methods. 
    • Safari in the Garden Route.
    • Daily game-drives.
    • Afternoon tea / wine treat at our Safari Lodge.
    • Enjoy a complimentary SPA treatment from Zebra Adventures at the end of your tour.
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    We are Covid-19 Ready

    Zebra Adventures remain fully committed to offering our guests the peace of mind to enjoy a memorable tour with us, knowing that we have implemented the necessary precautions and protocols to ensure their health and safety during their tour.  The safety and security of our guests and team members remain our highest priority.  

    • Staff will undergo daily temperature tests and will wear masks in line with regulations to ensure that they are safe and ready to engage with our guests.  
    • We have increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting our vehicles.   
    • Travellers will be required to sign and complete a Declaration of Health document and indemnity form before joining the tour during the pandemic.  
    • We arranged for a larger vehicle to ensure social awareness. 
    • Hand sanitiser will be offered to every guest and team member every time they enter the vehicle.  
    • All our guests and team members are required to wear masks at all times while inside our bus. All face masks whether disposable or reusable, must fully cover the nose and mouth.  
    • Upon arrival at Cape Town International Airport, Zebra Adventures requires passengers to produce a certificate of a negative COVID-19 PCR test that has been conducted within 72 hours of departure.   
    • Each guest will be temperature screened on arrival at the hotel and also each morning when boarding our tour bus to comply with South Africa’s travel regulations. The screening will take place in a non-invasive and safe manner to ensure the health and safety of all our visitors and staff.   
    • Staff at all hotels and lodges are trained on preventative measures and hygiene protocols to ensure guests enjoy an even cleaner and safer stay.  
    • All safety and hygiene protocols will be observed including social distancing measures. The use of face masks is not a substitute for maintaining social distancing.  
    • The above measures are subject to change based on the latest guidance and regulations.  

    Warm smiles and nods will replace the familiar handshake as a friendly greeting upon arrival and during your stay with us.  

    DOCTOR ON CALL
    In the unlikely event that one of our guests require medical advice whilst on tour with us, a 24 -hour doctor on call is available to provide professional advice. We will be making use of the services of Dr Chanel Gibbens based in Cape Town.

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    Itinerary Disclaimer

    While it is our intention to follow the itinerary described, there is a certain amount of flexibility built in and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to follow equally amazing alternatives. Travel times listed are approximations and subject to change due to local circumstances.

    Introduction to South Africa

    • Country: The Republic of South Africa
    • Total land area: 1,213,090 Km2 (468,376 sq. miles)
    • Population: 59,434,682 (September 2020). 66.7 % of the population is urban.
    • SA has 3 Capital Cities: The administrative capital of South Africa is Pretoria. Cape Towns is South Africa’s legislative capital and the judicial capital of South Africa is Bloemfontein.
    • Languages: South Africa has 11 official languages: Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa and isiZulu.
    • Time Zone: UTC+2

    Weather

    During January leading up to March, the weather in South Africa will be warm, 25-35 degrees Celsius. Cape Town will be in her dry season; however, the weather is unpredictable and you can have 4 seasons in one day, so come prepared. The African sun is merciless so do not underestimate a cloudy day. Bring sunblock and a hat and make sure to hydrate all the time. Please note that all areas visited on this tour are malaria-free zones. If you are prone to mosquito bites, bring a repellent for peace of mind.

    Visas / Passport

    Please check the latest summary, health and entry requirements on the FCO Travel Advice pages here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice. Your passport should be valid for at least 30 days beyond your intended date of exit from South Africa, in line with South African immigration regulations. However, some immigration officials still request that a passport should have at least 6 months validity on the date of entry to South Africa. To avoid problems at the airport on arrival, you’re advised to ensure your passport meets this requirement. Your passport should have at least 2 blank pages if you require a visa to enter the country. If you do not need a visa, one blank page will be sufficient. Applying for a South African Visitors’ visa is for international travellers who wish to visit the country on a temporary basis for a period of 90 days or less.

    Requirements for visitor’s visas differ from country to country (click here to see which countries are currently exempt) and the requirements are subject to change. Each application is treated as an individual case and you should make enquiries with your nearest South African mission or consulate abroad or any office of the Department of Home Affairs to see whether or not you are required to apply for a visa. A visa should be obtained prior to arriving in SA and not at arrival!

    Emergency Contact

    In case of an emergency while on tour, it is best to give your local company representative a call. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information (including country code), so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

    Emergency Contact Info:

    Liezel de Klerk (Company Representative):
    +27 84 515 4209

    Janettie Wucherpfennig (CEO):
    +44 791 352 9799

    Arrival in Cape Town

    After clearing customs at Cape Town International Airport, our company representative will meet you at the arrival gate, holding a placard with Zebra Adventures’ company’s logo on it. In case you have trouble finding our representative at the arrival gate, please wait at Vida e Caffè and contact the emergency contact.

    Accommodation

    Holidays to South Africa present one of the few places able to offer a city-break, wine-tour, beach-holiday, and safari in one trip. Fabulous settings, carefully and meticulously selected hotels, wine farms and a safari lodge complete the package. We strive for excellence and high-class service; this is reflected in the accommodation we choose for our tours. Housed in a historic 19th-century building, Protea Breakwater Lodge is located in the heart of Cape Town, at the V&A Waterfront. Twin rooms with en-suite bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi access, deluxe bedding, a flat-screen TV, room service, mini-fridge, laundry service, four public lounges, gym and spa. In the majestic Winelands, 4 lofts are located in the heart of Marianne Wine Estate in the Simonsberg Valley, Stellenbosch. Facing the cellar and looking at Table Mountain. Each loft has its own feeling and style with twin rooms, an en-suite bathroom and living room. Comfort, quality of service and excellence is in abundance.

    Marianne Wine Estate is situated in the heart of the Winelands between Stellenbosch and Paarl. Offering comfortable 4-star accommodation in the middle of the vines (literally), on the slope of the Simonsberg mountain. Each loft boasts twin bedrooms, an en-suite bathroom, living room, TV, airconditioning and more. Marianne Wine Estate’s location is perfect terroir, guaranteed to produce premium grapes and groomed to perfection. The grapes are grown biologically with an organic approach, working with nature and not against it. State-of-the-art boutique wineries, perfectly equipped to produce fine, handcrafted wines. Influenced by their French heritage and international savoir-faire, they strive to make French-style wines with a touch of South African flair. Marianne is famous for their biltong and wine pairing, showcasing carefully selected wines paired with three premium cuts of biltong. Biltong is a cured, dry meat often enjoyed as a snack by South Africans. The very first vintage of Marianne’s flagship wine Floreal was served at Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday at Buckingham Palace. The secret to a great wine lies in the vineyard and in the beautiful landscape that surrounds it.

    Surval Boutique Olive Estate in Oudtshoorn, is an elegant working olive farm in the heart of the Klein Karoo at the foot of the Swartberg Mountains. Luxury accommodation with charming features. Live like relaxed royalty during the Ostrich Feather Boom as you enjoy the soothing, yet exclusive farm-chic atmosphere that has become synonymous with the award-winning estate and restaurant. Surval has a lot to offer; relax at the sparkling pool, take a guided walk, olive tasting, mountain biking and more. Far from the glare of the city lights, you can see and enjoy the Milky Way in its full splendour. The Little Karoo is considered to be one of the best places on earth for stargazing.

    Set against the backdrop of the majestic Langeberg mountain range, the Garden Route Game Lodge guards the entrance to the world-famous Garden Route Coast. This malaria-free private game reserve is home to an abundance of animals and birdlife- including the Big-5. A range of activities include game drives, guided bush walks, educational tours, mountain biking and more. Elegant twin-bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms are decorated in a contemporary African style with modern conveniences for a comfortable and relaxing stay. All come standard with air-conditioning, flat-screen TV as well as tea and coffee making facilities and minibars.

    Fitness / Table Mountain Hike

    Hiking Table Mountain – one to tick off your bucket list! Our mountain guides are qualified and highly experienced with an intimate knowledge of Table Mountain and a passion for mountains, ensuring you get the ultimate experience. You are in good hands as they respect nature and never skimp on safety.

    Towering 1,086 meters over Cape Town and around 540 million years in the making, Table Mountain is a playground for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Once an island, now boasting more plant species per square mile than the Amazon, this flat-topped monolith begs exploration. Trails run the length and breadth of the mountain, offering exceptional hiking for all experience levels. Whether you’re looking for adventure, escape or views, a hike up Table Mountain is not to be missed. Table Mountain hosts the richest floral kingdom on earth, with more than 1,470 floral species. The mountain is now officially recognized as one of the new Seven Wonders of Nature with the rocks on the mountain over 600,000,000 years old, making Table Mountain one of the oldest mountains in the world.

    You will be offered 2 hiking trails to choose from and they vary in difficulty and technicality. Based on your fitness and sense of adventure.

     

    1. Platteklip Gorge: Grade A. 3.5 hours.
      The oldest, quickest and easiest hiking route up Table Mountain, but also the least scenic and exciting. That doesn’t mean it’s NOT scenic and exciting – just the least compared to other routes. Also, it doesn’t mean it’s easy, just the easiest compared to other routes. The route leads up a deep ravine and consists of big rock steps. Most people who hike Table Mountain opt for Platteklip Gorge, not because it’s such a great route, but because it’s the easiest to complete and it is more exciting than taking the cable car to the summit. Ideal for those who have a fear of heights.
    2. India Venster: Grade B. 3.5 hours.
      The route ticks practically all the boxes of a perfect Table Mountain route: imposing topography, dramatic views, exciting hiking, a moderate measure of adventure. India Venster is a great choice IF you’re okay with heights (narrow ledges) and if your fitness is above average. The route leads up a dramatic part of Table Mountain, threading an ingenious line through imposing cliffs. It involves scrambling (elementary climbing) and exposure to heights about 15% of the way – nothing extreme, but you need at least a fairly good head for heights and ideally also a sense of adventure. The views are sensational, the hiking engaging, and the surroundings stimulating. It is more technical (necessitates the use of hands to negotiate vertical rock sections). The route is child-friendly.
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    Early Arrival and Late Departure

    Flight arrival times may vary from country to country. If your flight arrives a day earlier or departs a day later than the scheduled tour date and time, we will be happy to arrange your additional accommodation and transport from the airport for an additional charge. Please note that the Team Orientation Meeting is at 15:00 on the scheduled day of arrival at your hotel in Cape Town.

    Safety

    We honestly believe that if you behave sensibly, exactly as you would when travelling to any major city or developing country, you are no more likely to be a victim of crime than you would be almost anywhere else in the world. Once you get there you will be pleasantly surprised by how safe you feel. More will be discussed at our orientation meeting on arrival day.

    Power

    Voltage is 230V and 50Hz. Power outlets are type C and M. Remember to bring a suitable convertor plug along.

    Food

    The tour operates on a Half Board basis, except on days 3 and 10 which are Full Board. See Itinerary. Please notify us of any dietary requirements or allergies when booking. All the restaurants are hand-picked and showcase the best cuisine South Africa has to offer. From traditional Cape Malay to the freshest fish straight from the ocean, a light lunch here and a 14-course meal there. Relax, we have you covered, it will be a culinary adventure.

    Drinking Water

    You will receive one water bottle per day while on the road. The drinking water in Cape Town is of remarkable high quality. This is a result of a variety of treatment processes and because most of the water consumed in Cape Town is collected from unpolluted mountain catchments and aquifers. Cape Town water complies with the strict guidelines as specified in the South African National Standards (SANS 241:2015) for drinking water. They have won multiple Blue Drop awards from the Department of Water and Sanitation for their water quality.

    International Flights to South Africa

    The tour price does NOT include international flights. There are many ways to reach South Africa, whether to fly direct or indirect. Direct flight time from London is anything from 11 hours. Please contact us should you need advice.
    Arrival Airport: Cape Town International Airport
    Departure Airport: Cape Town International Airport

    Luggage and Domestic Flight

    We recommend that you wrap your check-in bag before travelling to South Africa. Please note that the domestic checked in bag weight limit is 20kg. Tours scheduled for Safari in the Pilanesberg  includes a two-hour domestic flight to Lanseria Airport or OR Tambo, Johannesburg. This internal flight has a strict 20kg weight limit. Overweight bags are subject to penalties and additional charges payable by the individual. Checked-in baggage maximum size dimensions (90 x 75 x 43cm).

    You are allowed two free carry-on bags. The larger of the two should not be more than 56 x 36 x 25cm, and should not weigh more than 7kg. This bag must fit in the storage compartment in the cabin. The smaller of the two should not exceed 40cm x 15cm x 20cm, and must fit under the seat in front of you. Rules are subject to change and will be confirmed nearer to your departure time.

    Please note that OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg has new baggage rules:

    • Only regular-shaped bags will be allowed at check-in counters;
    • This means that the bags must have at least one flat surface to be accepted on the check-in system;
    • Round or irregular-shaped bags will not be allowed at check-in counters; and
    • Bags with longs straps will not be allowed at check-in counters.

    Passengers trying to check in bags that do not conform to these rules will be offered the option of having their baggage wrapped with one flat side at airport approved baggage wrapping stations. Wrapping your bag at the airport costs around R90.

    Health / Vaccinations

    Cape Town and the Pilanesberg are free from malaria and safe for travellers of all ages. The Travel Doctor is an interactive website providing specialist health information for travellers. However, it is essential to contact your GP regarding vaccinations and health advice a minimum of six weeks before travelling to South Africa for individual health recommendations.

    Travel Insurance

    You must provide proof of your travel insurance prior to your departure to Cape Town, you will not be able to join the tour without it. Travel Insurance is mandatory for all our travellers. We also strongly recommend travel insurance that covers cancellation, curtailment, personal liability and loss of luggage and personal effects. Please validate that your travel insurance covers all the activities as outlined in the itinerary.

    Stay Connected

    Staying in touch while on holiday in South Africa (SA) is far less complicated and expensive than it used to be. What’s best for one person may not necessarily be ideal for another so we suggest three options.

    • Zebra Adventures can supply you with a local SIM card and various data packages (example: 1GB data for R100 / roughly £5). Please inform us prior to your departure to South Africa. Buying a local prepaid SIM card, inserting it into your mobile or Internet device and operating on a top-up basis is one of the easiest and most convenient options (your phone must just be unlocked – check with your local service provider to make sure this is the case. This alternative allows you to keep your number forever as well as use your OWN phone with all your crazy apps, ringtones and important contacts. Keep in mind, if you’ve been a contract phone user your whole life, you’ll have to familiarise yourself with the concepts of data and airtime, the idea of buying prepaid vouchers/data and the notion of monitoring your credit so you don’t get cut off while sending a photo to your loved ones.
    • Only use Wi-Fi hotspots at hotel/restaurants etc. and no roaming or Sim card is needed (most popular).
    • Switch on your roaming but it can be very expensive, contact your service provider for detail.

    Internet

    Most hotels, lodges and restaurants offer free Wi-Fi. The signal quality and download speed are variable and can at times be frustrating if you are used to high speed internet connections.

    Money

    South Africa’s currency is the Rand (R). Each Rand is comprised of 100 cents (c). Both coins (10c, 20c, 50c, R1, R2 and R5) and notes (R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200) are available, and the exchange rate is generally quite favourable for those coming from foreign countries.

    It’s necessary to figure out the best form of money to bring with you on your travels. Contrary to popular belief, SA has quite a well-developed financial system and extensive bank network and there are a number of different options available for tourists spending money here. Most shops and restaurants accept major credit and debit cards and cash can be exchanged at hotels or Bureau de Change.

    Culture

    South Africans are very warm, accommodating and hospitable, very much like the country’s climate. South Africa has been famously referred to as the rainbow nation because it is made up of so many diverse cultures and religions. All these people are united by calling South Africa home.

    South Africa has 11 official languages so that all the major languages used in the country are given recognition. These languages are Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa and isiZulu. Even though there are 11 official languages in reality English is most citizens’ second or third language, so visitors are able to get along fine if they are proficient in English.

    South African cuisine is a fusion of African, European, Indian, and Malay influences. What brings everyone together though is the practice of braai, which is similar to barbeque (but a true South African will say that it is nothing like a barbeque, it is a BRAAI). What sets braai apart is that purists only do it on open wood fires, feeling that it is more authentic. It is a communal event, where South Africans come together to talk and be merry while the meat, usually lamb or beef, is sizzling on the fire. An inexpensive staple food in the country is pap (the Afrikaans word for porridge), which is made from ground maize and has a thick consistency, being enjoyed as a breakfast dish while it is also eaten as a side/main dish during a braai, with chakalaka (spicy vegetable relish).

    A sticky treat that is well known in the country is koeksisters. It is fried dough, worked into distinctive knots, which are submerged in a cold syrup that makes it very gluey. Also in the sweet category are melktert – a tart that has a light crust with a custard filling, malva pudding and more. Rooibos (Red bush) tea grows in South Africa’s fynbos. The leaves are used to make herbal tea that is called by the names: rooibos, bush tea, red tea, or redbush tea. It reduces stress, alleviates allergies and inflammation, regulates immune function, calms stomach cramps and slows down the aging process, as the high levels of antioxidants fight free radicals in the body.

    For many people in South Africa poverty is a daily reality. It is hard not to engage, but giving to beggars or children does not solve their problems, instead it encourages them to continue begging. If you want to donate, Zebra Adventures donates towards Nonceba Family Centre in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. You can ask your guide for more detail or you can follow this link.

    Gratuities

    Tipping is a sensitive issue, but there is no need to feel awkward. It’s a normal part of the service industry in South Africa, as it is in many countries. Tipping by relatively affluent visitors can have a big positive impact on the local economic and social balance – so please keep that in mind when you tip your Guide and Game Ranger. Tipping is expected by most people involved in the country’s tourism industry. While tipping is not mandatory, it is a very important. If your experience was excellent, a good rule of thumb is to tip the equivalent of £4-6 per day for your guides. A great idea if you would prefer to go well-prepared, is to bring 2 or 3 small envelopes for your tips, perhaps with a thank-you note inside. A 10% tip is normal in restaurants.

    Travellers Code of Conduct

    • Please ask before taking photographs of people, and respect their wishes should an individual not be happy to be photographed.
    • Strive where possible to make your own contribution to environmental practices within the destination you are travelling – leave a ‘zebra footprint’. We always leave a destination in a better condition than we find it.
    • Where possible, try to purchase from local suppliers. In areas where haggling is an accepted part of daily life, don’t become angry or offended if you are unable to obtain what you perceive as a fair price for an item. We pass on all feedback from every trip undertaken with Zebra Adventures to our hotels, restaurants and events.
    • A good rule of thumb when it comes to wine-tasting, is to keep track of the number of tastings and alcohol you consume each day. A headache may just spoil the experience.
    • If you are unsure about anything relating to the above, please feel free to contact us. Our company representatives either live or have travelled extensively in the country you are visiting and will be more than happy to offer their considered advice.

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