JUNE 30th – ARRIVE CAPE TOWN: Your adventure begins! Your host will meet you at the Cape Town International Airport and escort you to the charming Cape Town Hollow Boutique Hotel. After time to relax and settle in, we’ll get a taste of some of the local culture at the Gold Restaurant, featuring opulent African cuisine and traditional South African music and dance.
JULY 1ST – CAPE TOWN: Today, our guide will take us to the top of Cape Town’s most famous landmark, Table Mountain. With sweeping views of this beautiful seaport from the spectacular cable car ride, and its one-of-a-kind ecosystem, unique in all the world, this historic site is a must-see for our travelers.
After descending, we’ll tour some of the highlights of the city and make our way, by short boat ride, to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years. Today, it is a World Heritage Site and museum – a poignant reminder to the newly democratic South Africa of the extraordinary man who lead them out of the Apartheid era.
For dinner, we’ll enjoy one of the city’s best restaurant destinations, the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront.
JULY 2ND – CAPE OF GOOD HOPE: Today, we’ll drive East, by comfortable van or bus, along the coast. Located at the southern-most tip of the African continent, this is one of the most scenically spectacular parks in the whole of South Africa. We’ll visit Hout Bay where we often see wild ostriches and Cape Point. One of the highlights of the day is Boulders Beach, which is the only place in the world where you can get close to African penguins.
The elevated wooden boardwalks above the sand prevent their habitat from being spoiled or disturbed, but allows our travelers to view them remarkably close up.
JULY 3rd – GARDEN ROUTE: Today we’ll begin our travels on the Garden Route with a tour through the charming Stellenbosch region, redolent of South Africa’s Dutch colonial history and unique architecture. The area is known for its superb wineries and we’ll enjoy a bit of wine tasting on our way to the seaside town of Hermanus for some whale watching (weather permitting).
We’ll tuck in for the night in the beautiful little town of Swellendam at the foot of the Langeberg Mountains in the quaint Gaikou Resort Lodge.
JULY 4th – GARDEN ROUTE: After breakfast, we’ll continue on the scenic Garden Route, first heading to Dias Museum. Named for 15th-century Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias, the museum contains the “post office tree” where sailors left messages for each other beginning in 1786.
Continuing on, we’ll take a tour of the Point of Human Origins, which is the archeological site of the earliest known artifacts of modern human beings, and spend the night in picturesque Mossel Bay.
JULY 5th – GARDEN ROUTE: As we continue on, we’ll drop our bags at our hotel, the stunning Knysna Log Inn before heading out to the renowned Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary. The lions, tigers, and other large carnivores living here were rescued from illegal or abusive situations. The sanctuary’s elevated walkway is more than 1.5 miles long and spans numerous natural habitat, making it possible to view many of the rescued animals up close.
We’ll watch the sunset from the East Head, a stunning natural site that rises on both sides of an inlet like sentries to guard the inner lagoons, while dramatic ocean waves crash against the rocks.
JULY 6th – TSITSIKAMMA NATIONAL PARK: This beautiful park is our destination today – a stunning region that encompasses a marine reserve, deep gorges and unique local vegetation such as the Big Tree, a towering yellowwood. The area is home to a wide variety of small mammals such as bush pigs, as well as a spectacular suspension bridge.
Tonight we’ll stay at the luxurious Tsitsikamma Lodge & Spa.
JULY 7TH – UMHLANGA ROCKS: Today we’ll continue on to Port Elizabeth where we’ll board our fight to the seaport town of Durban and then drive a few minutes to our hotel. Umhlanga Rocks is a lovely beach town just north of Durban with the ocean in easy walking distance from our accommodations. The area has numerous great restaurants and some interesting stores to explore for African artifacts.
We highly recommend you make reservations for dinner at the famous, 5-star hotel called The Oyster Box. It’s restaurant will charm you with Colonial elegance and a meal you’re not likely to forget!
JULY 8th – MAYIBUYE GAME RESERVE: After breakfast, we’ll drive to Mayibuye, a game preserve we created 6 years ago in partnership with a local Zulu tribe to help them obtain a better life, economically and educationally, and to move them away from an “industry” of poaching to an industry of eco tourism. David Bozas, LAEO’s Mayibuye Director, will personally brief us about this unique collaboration, which was recently named a “Model Program for Wildlife Conservation and Economic Empowerment” by the President’s Cabinet of South Africa. While there, our group will participate in an afternoon of “voluntourism” for the Zulu children – bringing clothes and supplies that will help to enhance their lives.
In the afternoon, we’ll enjoy a South African “Braai” (barbecue) with David and our International Executive Director, Yvette Taylor, as well as some of the Zulu officials who are working with us to bring a better life to their people. Yvette will brief us on some of LAEO’s other exciting projects in Africa and around the world, with examples of how our Cooperative Ecology™ concept underlies all we do and is the basis of our success.
JULY 9th – THULA THULA WILDLIFE RESERVE: Today, we’ll head up the Dolphin Coast to Thula Thula, the wildlife preserve created by Lawrence and Francoise Anthony and settle into our luxury tents. This afternoon, we’ll take our first game viewing drive into the reserve with our expert game rangers, dedicated to our safety, comfort and education.
Teeming with wildlife, Thula Thula’s land was the private hunting grounds of King Shaka. An historic meeting was held on a river bank there that is credited with the start of the Zulu nation. And we’ll see the famous elephant herd Lawrence befriended that has flourished there in peace and tranquility.
We’ll meet at the Marula Bar for cocktails and enjoy a welcome celebration dinner with our game rangers. Snuggle into your delightful tent in a four-poster bed with a down comforter and the sounds of wildlife at night in the African bush.
JULY 10TH – THULA THULA WILDLIFE RESERVE: We’ll be up early this morning for a bush walk with our ranger guide to follow the open trails and learn about local flora and fauna on the reserve. We’ll encounter animals on foot and learn how to track spoor.
Breakfast in the beautiful, open-air lodge. You never know what wildlife will wander by – elephant, kudu, giraffe, zebra, bushbuck, rhino, and baboon are just a few of the possible sightings.
After breakfast, we’ll take a trip to the nearby Zulu village to meet the resident Inyanga (herbal medicine healer and diviner) to learn about their medicines and get your future told. You may be surprised at just how accurate their divination of you is!
In the late afternoon, we’ll head out for another game-viewing drive to a different area of the reserve, with a break for “sundowners” – drinks and snacks atop a hilly vista to enjoy the beautiful sunsets of the area. Make sure your phones are charged so that you can capture all the extraordinary wildlife sightings!
A campfire dinner with your new friends will complete another extraordinary day of your African adventure.
JULY 11TH – THULA THULA: Hold tight to your breakfast muffins! A troop of mischievous monkeys comes through regularly, looking to steal your food.
Mid-morning, LAEO’s reptile and amphibian expert, Nick Evans, with some of his rescued animals in hand, will brief us on his important work. Nick is called from all over South Africa to rescue reptiles and amphibians from places where they would otherwise be killed, and he releases them back into the wild.
As unbelievable as it may seem to some, it is likely that you’ll experience an increase in your own care for, or at least tolerance of these often maligned but extremely important-to-the-eco-system animals after experiencing his enthusiastic, entertaining and knowledgeable presentation. His care for these animals is truly infectious!
After a relaxed lunch on the verandah overlooking the glistening pool and surrounding bush, we will convene in the convention center to wrap up our Cooperative Ecology discussion, share new-found knowledge, and discuss future applications of this principle in your life back at home.
Late afternoon, we’ll head out to find Lawrence Anthony’s legendary herd of wild elephants with whom he had such a remarkable relationship. After rescuing this troubled herd from certain death, they befriended him, accepted Thula Thula as their new home, and returned to his house on the anniversary of his death each year for 4 years. The herd has flourished there and it is not uncommon that the game rangers are able to get quite close to them.
This evening, we’ll meet at the Elephant Bar for cocktails before heading to the campfire to enjoy our final night around the bonfire. Share your magnificent wildlife sightings and adventures of the day with fellow travelers as we celebrate newfound friends on a continent like no other.
JULY 12th – TRAVEL DAY: Undoubtedly you will have been awakened by the “bush chorus alarm clock” of birds, monkeys and other animals welcoming the new day. After one last morning drive, our game rangers will collect your bags during breakfast in preparation for our departure.
We’ll transport you back to King Shaka International Airport in Durban, for your flight home or on to other destinations, with memories to treasure and share for a lifetime!
As of next year, our Eco Safari price is going up dramatically, (from $4,800 to $7,600!).
2019’s safari is already more than half booked; but, with a deposit to hold your place, it is still possible to get 2018’s price for our 2019 trip, if you contact us by October 31st.
Don’t miss out on this amazing price and opportunity
to enjoy a magnificent journey
that will change your life!
CONTACT US NOW!