Meet and greet at Cape Town airport
Private transfer from Cape Town airport to The Whale Coast
Like its siblings of the Royal Portfolio properties (Royal Malewane in the Kruger and La Residence in Franschhoek), Birkenhead House exudes a comfortable chic that is majestically modern yet intimate. Its position on the cliffs of Hermanus looking over Walker Bay confirms it as one of the best places to stay along the Whale Cape. With only eleven rooms, a fully-equipped spa and an excellent restaurant, the service here is both attentive and personal and a broad range of activities from aromatherapy to shark diving can be arranged. The interiors are an adroit marriage between traditional French-style furniture offset by antiques, and more clean modern lines using a fresh white and beige palette interspersed with expert use of vibrant colours that complement the views streaming in, and which mostly draws the eyes.
- Eleven Suites
- 11 Suites
Perfectly poised on the headland between two bays and at the heart of what is considered the ‘whale watching Mecca’ of the world, the 2,500-hectare Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is well positioned to enjoy the area’s thrilling to its more relaxing of activities. From diving with Great Whites, horse riding on wild Atlantic beaches, spotting whales and pods of dolphin cavorting in Walker Bay to tasting regional wines, discovering the unique heritage of towns such as De Kelders and Hermanus, and trekking through the intriguing fynbos flora and fauna of its reserves and valleys – you won’t be short of things to do here on the Whale Coast and at Grootbos. For budding botanists, the reserve encompasses a vast swathe of the beautiful Cape Floristic Region, the smallest of earth’s six recognized floral kingdoms. There are two fabulous places to stay here – the homely Garden Lodge and contemporary Forest Lodge – as well as two fabulous Private Villas, all of which admire incredible vistas to the sea and mountains.
- 11 suites at Garden Lodge
- 16 suites at Forest Lodge
- 6 and 4 bedroom Private Villas
You need only look up from your table, bed or book when staying at the smart cliffside hotel of Marine Hermanus to see whales breaching the Atlantic surf of Walker Bay. The 42 suites, that surround a pretty internal courtyard and lovely groomed gardens, are decorated in a light palette of colours which feels smart, comfortable and clean. Built in 1902, the use of traditional furniture, heavy fabrics, antiques and chintz wallpaper really enhances the classic, early 20th-century seaside character here too. However the main feature at the hotel is its position on the Hermanus headland which gives it 360? views of the bays, the Overburg mountains and quite frankly one of the most magnificent seascapes in the southern hemisphere. The in-house restaurant usually employs a very reputable chef making the food at the hotel consistently excellent. Hermanus is well known as the one of the planet’s best places to spot whales from the shoreline, its local town also carries a tangible European feel with its many cafés and arts culture.
- 42 suites
- Swimming Pool
- Bar, Lounge
Ocean Eleven is an olde worlde, Cape Cod, colonial style guesthouse situated on the famous cliffs of Hermanus. The picturesque mountains beyond gently embrace the phenomenal, all encompassing vista of the bay. The main house of Ocean Eleven was built with all the high ceilings, tall windows and teak floors that made colonial architecture so utterly elegant. All these features and thus the grace and style have been retained to this day. Ocean Eleven boasts beautifully appointed rooms that have an all-embracing sea view over Walker Bay. Luxuries include 100% cotton percale linen and tea making facilities.
- Three Standard Rooms
- Five Deluxe Rooms
- Two Suites
- Apartment - sleeps four
With views over the historic harbour, this modern small hotel of only eighteen rooms delivers a touch of seaside and convenience being at the heart of Hermanus town. The impressive suites are tastefully decorated in modern style and offer spectacular views of the mountain cliffs or across the ocean below. Each comes with all the mod-cons, including a fully equipped kitchen. Guests can relax on sun loungers by the hotel pool, and there is a designated children’s swimming area. The hotel also has an in-house restaurant with a modern à la carte menu, or you can pop out and visit neighbouring restaurants. Hermanus town is renowned for some of the best land-based whale watching opportunities in Africa and the hotel is positioned with great viewpoints to capture this incredible scene. Bicycle hire is available for guests who are keen to explore the local area by their own steam.
- 18 rooms
- Restaurant, Outdoor Pool
Almost immediately south-east from the outskirts of Cape Town and following the Atlantic shoreline along the Western Cape, this is a protected collection of beautiful bays with crescents of pristine white beaches, wild surf, tranquil mountains that dramatically descend into the Atlantic, sleepy valleys, nature reserves, charming coves bustling with wildlife and pleasant villages brimming with local heritage.
Some of the world’s premier destinations for viewing nurseries of southern right whales, as well as other marine life, are located on this coast, such as Hermanus, Overburg and Walker Bay, and there are also the shivers of great white sharks that gather off Gansbaai.
The oceans off the southern tip of Africa offer some of the most exciting whale watching in the world with at least 37 different species of dolphins and whales calling these waters home. Head out from Hermanus on the boat to catch a glimpse of these majestic creatures. Keep your eyes peeled for Southern Right, humpback, Brydes and Antarctic Minke whales as well as other marine species such as African penguins, Cape Fur seals, Cormorants and Bank Cormorants.
Board your shark-chaser, the Predator II for the five mile voyage to Dyer Island. The island, together with Geyser Rock nearby, is home to 40 000 Cape Fur Seals, the Great White Shark’s favourite prey, and the channel which runs between the two is known as Shark Alley. This is where you will anchor – using a specially mixed chum to attract the sharks, you will soon have an opportunity to see them feeding at the surface, alongside the boat. The cage is then lowered and you will be able to witness these incredible hunters of the deep in your wetsuit, protected by galvanised steel mesh. All diving equipment is supplied and only snorkeling experience is required if you want to go down in the cage. A light lunch is served on the boat as well as refreshments and you will have the chance to see seals and whales in season as well as the sharks.
Private transfer from the Whale Coast to Cape Town
Ellerman is a class act throughout. Not to mention a wonderful piece of history that feels very much like your own home but with top class service befitting a five-star hotel. Perched in one of the most spectacular and privileged settings in Cape Town overlooking Bantry Bay, Ellerman is the epitome of comfort and class with a relaxed, elegant style. Decoration is colonial, with a nod to the contemporary and recently refurbished to provide thoroughly modern comforts. Where Ellerman excels above others is the excellent house staff, who in these grand surrounds create such a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. Taking a (complimentary) evening cocktail from the lounge and strolling out onto the peaceful gardens overlooking the sea for sunset is the perfect end to a day in Cape Town as one feels both special and relaxing. There are just eleven rooms, two suites and two private contemporary villas. Communal areas include a spacious lounge, large garden area (with outdoor pool) and a huge spa. There is an open kitchen you are invited to visit, a pantry that you can raid as well as the complimentary evening cocktails. A particular feature of Ellerman is its private art collection. This is simply outstanding, one of the best in South Africa with works from African masters inside the main building and then, underneath is a contemporary gallery. For anyone interested in art this will add an extra element to their stay. The hotel also has a small fleet of private vehicles which can take you within a 16 mile radius free of charge.
- Eleven rooms, two suites and two villas
- Outdoor swimming pool
- Public kitchen
- Large spa
- Private contemporary art gallery and cinema
- South Africa Masters adorning the walls of the communal areas
With sweeping views of the Atlantic, Table Mountain as a backdrop, and the buzz of a working harbour, the Victoria and Albert Waterfront is one of Cape Town’s prime locations. It is here that you’ll find The Silo. The grain silo was the tallest building in Sub-Saharan Africa when it was built in 1924, and the luxury hotel is located in the former elevator tower. The creative brain behind the project is that of prominent British designer and architect Thomas Heatherwick, whose iconic works include the Cauldron for the London 2012 Olympic Games and London’s new Routemaster bus. The Silo occupies six floors above the Zeitz MOCAA Museum of Contemporary Art Africa. A partnership between the V&A Waterfront and Jochen Zeitz, this cultural institution focuses on exhibiting cutting-edge contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora, with the Zeitz Collection forming its founding exhibition. Taking its place on Cape Town’s skyline, the hotel is a beacon of modern design. The industrial aesthetics remain with the addition of pillowed glazing panels which bulge outwards as if gently inflated. At night, this transforms the building into a glowing lantern. Each of the 28 rooms, which include a magnificent penthouse suite, are individually designed and strike the balance between industrial, stylish and comfortable. The creative team have been busy sourcing pieces from Cape Town and across the world, to ensure each room tells its own story without detracting from the natural beauty of the city, which can be seen through the 18-foot windows. Another key feature is the huge grain-shaped atrium carved out of the interior of the grain silos. The art in the hotel is in keeping with the collections in the museum. Appreciate the 360 degree panoramic views from the restaurant, champagne bar and glass swimming pool located on the rooftop while casting your eye across the ocean, city bowl and mountains. There is also a café, piano bar, spa and fitness centre and when you want to go exploring, the Waterfront itself offers a wealth of shops, restaurants and bars.
- 28 rooms, including one penthouse suite
- Rooftop restaurant and champagne bar
- Rooftop glass swimming pool
- Spa and fitness centre
Situated in the heart of the V&A waterfront, the Cape Grace is one of Cape Town’s most famous luxury hotels. You can expect world class, personalised service from the Grace in a location perfect for enjoying the restaurants, boutiques and entertainment of this upmarket area. Reflecting its location, the recently refurbished décor has a nautical theme and is full of local detail, with antiques and maps adorning the hallways. In a playful touch, sumptuous chandeliers are adorned with unusual items (such as crockery and kitchenware in the Restaurant area). The 120 rooms and suites are spacious, comfortable and elegantly decorated offering views out to Table Mountain, Signal Hill or the Marina. The hotel also features a luxurious pool and outdoor deck, a spa on the top floor and a great whiskey bar. You can walk straight out into the waterfront area here making it a perennial favourite.
- 120 Rooms and suites
- Small Outdoor Pool
- Whisky and wine bar
- Pool and outdoor deck
Nestled at the foot of Table Mountain with awesome cityscape and ocean views is the creative and contemporary MannaBay hotel. Splendid style and South African art adorns every spot of this property, from the rooftop Atlas Bar to the gorgeous lounge to the fabulously unique guestrooms. Whether it’s Persian grandeur or Oriental opulence that takes your fancy, pick your favourite room as each boasts its own lavish theme and scenic views. However it is the Versailles Suite that reigns as most sumptuous. Boasting not one, but two four poster beds – one sits out on the private balcony – this suite is designed with Louis XIV in mind. Accommodating a maximum of just sixteen guests, look forward to an exclusive and intimate feel here. The superb service and thoughtful extra touches add to the serene experience with mobile phones with local sim and numbers, African travel literature and in-room spa treatments all provided during your peaceful stay.
- One suite and seven luxury rooms
- Cafe, bar and boma area
- Swimming pool
- Gym and steam room
- In-room spa treatments
For a dose of cosy luxury, check in to the Tintswalo Atlantic. Perched right on the edge of the South African shoreline, this boutique hotel is tucked away between the rugged cliffs and gentle waters of Hout Bay, providing you with a degree of isolation from the bustle of Cape Town yet remaining close enough to allow easy access to the area’s sights and activities. This hotel makes for a great base camp in the region; from here you can enjoy watching the busy local harbor unloading their catch each morning, indulge yourself in some retail therapy at the V&A Waterfront, explore the nearby Constantina Winelands or head slightly further afield and trek through the Table Mountain National Park, just a short car journey away. There are a host of themed suites to choose from, each with its own individual decor and ambiance. All come with stunning panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean stretching from horizon to horizon. When you’re not sampling the plush bedding, then take a dip in the saltwater pool on the hotel decking, or sip cocktails in the bar at sunset at the waves lap against the shore.
- Lounge and bar
- Boutique wine cellar
- Dining room
- Interactive kitchen
- 2 heated swimming pools
Spend your time relaxing and exploring this wonderful city. You have our top recommendations for activities, restaurants and shopping so that you can make the most of your time here. If you would like us to organise your time here with a privately-guided tour, according your interests, we can do so.
This morning you will be met by your private vehicle for a private morning exploration of Cape Town, known affectionately as the Mother City. Typically highlights include, the Houses of Parliament, the Castle (built between 1666 and 1679, this is South Africa’s oldest building), the lively Green Market Square with its daily market, the Company Gardens and of course Table Mountain which will give you spectacular views over the city and Peninsula (depending on the weather). On the descent, you can stop at the Bo Kaap, home to the Cape Malay community, with its cobbled streets and brightly coloured houses.
Take one of the most scenic journeys in the world in this wonderful, full day private tour. Your guide will collect you from your hotel in the morning and bring you out through the coastal suburbs.
The trip is entirely private, so you can take things at your own pace though typically you'll make stops to see the highlights shown below:
Leaving the suburbs of Cape Town the road winds through Hout Bay and up over Chapmans peak for truly stunning views of the coastline. If we're lucky we may even see Southern Right Whales in the waters off-shore from June-November.
Explore the rocky coastline and unique Cape Fynbos vegetation which is home to unique bird-life such as African Black Oystercatchers and Cape Sugarbirds amongst others. Climb to the famous Cape Point Lighthouse to capture the magical vistas of False Bay, and stop at the south western most point of Africa - the fabled Cape of Good Hope.
We will visit Boulders Beach for a visit to see African Penguins in their natural habitat. Next drive through the historical naval village of Simonstown and over yet another spectacular mountain pass; Boyes Drive, where you will take in views of the quaint fishing harbour at Kalk Bay as well as the seaside villages of St James and Muizenberg.
As we return to the city (time allowing) you have the opportunity to visit these magnificent gardens set on the slopes of Table Mountain before returning to your hotel in the city.
Private transfer from Cape Town hotel to Cape Town airport
Flight from Cape Town to Nelspruit (Kruger) Airport
The Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve is renowned for its abundant concentration of wildlife, especially when it comes to the Big Five. Located within the 65,000-hectare Sabi Sands Reserve to the south west of the Kruger National Park, Sabi Sabi’s game drives and bushveld excursions enjoy a high incidence for viewing a vast range of creatures from the Big Five to 350 species of bird. One of the fundamental features of its accommodation collection is that there’s usually something for everyone, and Sabi Sabi’s set of four award-winning and uniquely luxurious lodges – Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge, Little Bush Camp, Earth Lodge and Selati Camp – will indeed suit most. And the concept, when it came to designing each of the individual lodges, arose from over a century of safari experiences and style so that each pleasantly reflects a specific time or atmosphere in this history.
- Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge
- Little Bush Camp
- Earth Lodge
- Selati Camp
The Londolozi reserve has always been independent and family-run with a strong conservation ethic and commitment to both ecotourism and local community involvement, not to mention a long-standing relationship with its resident Leopards, possibly providing the best viewing of these beautiful yet elusive creatures anywhere in Africa. Located on the banks of the Sand River in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, Londolozi enjoys an enviable position on the edge of the Kruger National Park, with six million acres of bush teaming with the Big Five and the highest concentrations of elephant, buffalo, white rhino, and lion on the African continent: this is Safari at its best. It’s hard to find anything to fault with the lodges (especially having just been awarded Relais & Chateaux status), what with its refined natural elegance, being intimately private, wildly romantic, personalised service, conscientiously run and with a real sense of history. There are five different lodges to choose from with varying degrees of luxury and privacy although it has to be said that the standards remain exceedingly high throughout – Tree Camp, Founders Camp, Granite Suites, Pioneer Camp and Varty Camp. The activities offered at the Londolozi reserve are broad and bespoke to every guest, and we highly urge you to try the sleep-outs and fishing.
- 32 rooms in five different Lodges: Granite Suites, Pioneer Camp, Tree Camp, Varty Camp, § Founders Camp
- Private Swimming Pools
- Cardio Vascular Treatments
Singita offer one of the most prestigious and exclusive safaris in Africa, with their lodges and services consistently (and deservedly) receiving top travel accolades. Singita in the Sabi Sands is where it all started with their most established operation here with Boulders, Ebony and Castleton Lodges. Service is excellent with both of the two lodges offering a top level of guiding and a fully luxurious experience in the bush. Game viewing is excellent and well coordinated so that you have a great chance of seeing all of the Big Five. Modern comforts are not foregone, indeed guests may be tempted to stay in the lodgings all day. Besides the excellent comfort and service, Singita is particularly famed for its excellent cuisine and wine, with a fantastic cellar on site, which is most definitely worth a visit during your stay. All in all, this is a world-class safari which is hard to beat.
- Luxurious all-suite accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, teas, coffees.
- All drinks, including premium wines, spirits and liqueurs (excluding champagnes).
- Curio Shop
- Swimming Pool (heated)
Rattray’s on MalaMala, tucked away in the green forests on the banks of the famous Sand River in the MalaMala Reserve, is a luxurious and exclusive lodge. Eight ‘Khayas’ – Zulu for homes – function as completely private, luxury villas decorated in a colonial safari-style. Each enjoy a private heated plunge pool, secluded verandahs with grand river views and indigenous private gardens that are a haven for birds. The interiors feature hand-selected furnishings, lavish his-and-hers bathrooms with a ball and claw footed bath and outdoor showers. There’s both indoor and outdoor dining areas for intimate in-room dining, a cosy library, bar, infinity pool and small gym. Guests also benefit from the use of all the facilities at the Main Camp. Day and night game drives are limited to just four guests per vehicle (unless you’re travelling in group), making for a more intimate bush experience along with your ranger and host, and you can also explore on foot. For keen photographers, a specially equipped vehicle with mounts and dedicated photographic ranger can be arranged.
- Eight luxury suite
- Air conditioning
- Private heated plunge pool
- Private verandahs and gardens
- Indoor and outdoor showers
- Access to all the main camp facilities
Harry Kirkman’s original 1920 homestead has been beautifully restored and now comprises 18 suites that look out over the bushveld. Perched on a ridge above the Sands River, guests can enjoy unspoiled views as they relax at this atmospheric and charming lodge. Kirkman’s offers the perfect balance of old and new with all the amemities you would expect from a luxury lodge alongside plenty of touches that hark back to days gone by. Each suite comes with a private verandah from which to relax with a glass of wine or afternoon tea while soaking up the unique atmosphere of the African bush. Curl up in front of the roaring fire in the sitting room, relax with a book in the library then sink into your claw-foot bathtub after a day of game drives. When you need to cool off, take refuge from the sun with a dip in the outdoor pool. Nestled in the world-renowned Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Kirkman’s Kamp shares unfenced borders with the Kruger National Park, and enjoys an abundantly rich local concentration of fauna, including the Big Five. It is a particularly good spot to base your safari activities if you want to spot the most elusive of cats, the leopard. Strict vehicle limits at sightings ensure the exclusivity of your game viewing experience.
- Eighteen Guest Cottages
- Swimming Pool
- Safari Shop
Spread under a leafy canopy of ebony trees, six spacious stone cottages grace the banks of the Mabrak River in the western part of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. As one of only twelve guests at Dulini Lodge, one feels instantly at home in this quiet retreat. The beautifully appointed suites boast generous plunge pools, shady decks and classic interiors that celebrate the signature style of the Reserve. From the privacy of your own plunge pools, you can enjoy watching game explore the dry riverbed just a few metres away. Your sitting area is an elegant space filled with big welcoming sofas and interesting African sculptures. Dine under the ancient jackalberry tree where skilled chefs serve delicious Pan African meals, or steal away for a romantic candlelit dinner in the well-stocked wine cellar.
- Six suites each with plunge pool
- Safari shop
There’s a real family history tied to the Lion Sands Game Reserve having been by owned and managed by four generations of the More family since 1933. Exclusive only to guests of Lion Sands River Lodge and Ivory Lodge, game drives are very personal and lead by an expert duo of a tracker and guide who will treat you to close encounters with Africa’s most coveted animal species. Walking safaris let you experience a completely different, more intimate perspective of the bush. The Lion Sands Reserve guiding team is superbly trained and contains one of the world’s four qualified Master Trackers. As well as encounters with lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino and elephant more, you can also spend an incredible night under a blanket of stars atop one of the reserve’s stunning tree houses, enjoy unforgettable dining experiences in the bush or perhaps even take a scenic helicopter flight over Blyde River Canyon. Two further luxury lodges sit within a private concession of the Kruger National Park adjoining the reserve, Lion Sands Narina Lodge and Tinga Lodge.
- River Lodge
- Ivory Lodge
Enjoy days relaxing at your luxury lodge and exploring the world-famous Sabi Sands Reserve with morning and afternoon game drives. Depending on the lodge you've chosen, there are various other optional activities you can do, ask your travel designer for the full lowdown.
Transfer from Sabi Sands to Nelspruit (Kruger) airport
Flight from Nelspruit (Kruger) airport to Johannesburg