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Adorable meerkat at Tswalu

Kalahari + Augrabies Falls + Cape Town (self-drive)


SCV12U
12 NIGHTS
FROM £995
International flights + car hire quoted separately
Visit Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in South Africa, home of the Bushmen, on this terrific self-drive holiday. See the majestic black-maned Kalahari lions, oryx & other desert-adapted wildlife, as well as Augrabies Falls & the wildflowers of Namaqualand in season (Aug/Sept). Then fly to Cape Town to complete your holiday, exploring the city & its winelands.
Bushmen South Africa Kgalagadi Self Drive Safari Kalahari
• 
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
• 
Kalahari Lions
• 
Augrabies Falls
• 
Photography
• 
Astronomy
• 
Bushman
• 
Cape Town
• 
Table Mountain
• 
Cape Point
• 
Winelands
• 
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
• 
Kalahari Lions
• 
Augrabies Falls
• 
Photography
• 
Astronomy
• 
Bushman
• 
Cape Town
• 
Table Mountain
• 
Cape Point
• 
Winelands
Day 1
Arrive at Upington Airport, collect your hire car and drive to your hotel in this small town that acts as the gateway to the vast Kalahari.
 
Check in and relax under warm blue South African skies.
Day 2
This morning drive 3-hours through the vast and arid Kalahari, one of the world’s last unspoilt ecosystems and one of Africa’s greatest wilderness areas. In this land of far horizons, marvel at the gigantic nests of the sociable weaver birds set high in camel thorn trees and stop to examine some of the amazing succulent desert plants which have adapted to survive in such harsh conditions.
  
The malaria-free Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is a visionary 3.7-million hectare joint venture between South African and Botswana. Check into your rest camp, with accommodation in simple but comfortable air-conditioned chalets and tents.
Days 3 To 4
Today is devoted to self-drive game viewing in the vast Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. We recommend setting off early each morning as the camp gates open (05h30 to 06h00 depending on the season), to take advantage of the best game viewing conditions of the day.
 
Wildlife is plentiful in the red sand dunes and semi-desert of this vast game sanctuary, which is twice the size of the Kruger National Park. Of the many species of mammals and reptiles that have successfully adapted to the harsh desert conditions, the most famous is the black-maned Kalahari lion. Kgalagadi is also renowned for the magnificent oryx, cheetah and leopards - which are more easily seen in the sparse vegetation. You will see some of Africa’s most unusual animals in the Kalahari and many of the “great cats” – lion, cheetah and leopard – but the vegetation does not support elephants, rhino or buffalo.
 
You should see large herds of antelope including springbok, eland and blue wildebeest. You can also hope to see the brown and spotted hyena, black-backed jackals, curious meerkats, yellow mongoose, porcupines, honey badgers, bat-eared foxes, Cape foxes, African wild cats and many other interesting animals. Bird life is also prolific, with over 260 species, including 20 different raptors.
 
You can spend the full day on the road, or return to your rest camp for breakfast and some relaxation, before setting out again in the late afternoon for another game drive.
Day 5
After some final game viewing in Kgalagadi National Park today drive south for 4-hours through Bushmanland to Augrabies Falls. On the way we suggest a stop at a Bushmen craft stall to give you the opportunity of supporting the community by buying one of their hand-made products.
  
At Augrabies Falls - “the Place of Great Noise” - the mighty Orange River dramatically crashes over the rim of a granite canyon during the summer flood, to plunge 270 ft into the gorge below, forming South Africa’s largest waterfall and the sixth largest in the world. Accommodation is in simple but comfortable air-conditioned chalets.
 
Check in and and view Augrabies Falls on foot, where conditions for photography are excellent.
Day 6
This morning leave Augrabies Falls and drive 3-hours into the heart of Namaqualand.
 
As we approach Springbok, you can expect to see miles and miles of brightly coloured wildflowers that bloom here each year during August and September – carpeting what is normally an arid semi-desert landscape. This spectacular natural phenomenon occurs for only a few weeks, with the quality and timing of the floral displays depending upon the mid-year rainfall. Check into your hotel in the heart of the wildflower region.
Day 7
A full day to enjoy viewing and photographing the spectacular wildflowers of Namaqualand - including Goegap Nature Reserve in Springbok, as well as more remote regions such as Kamieskroon - depending upon where the flowers are the best (please note flower areas only open at 11am).
 
Enjoy viewing these carpets of both brightly coloured and delicate flowers, covering what is normally an arid semi-desert landscape – a truly remarkable sight. Also absorb the atmosphere of these quaint rural towns in this far-flung part of the country.
Day 8
Drive to Upington Airport for your onward flight.

Arrive Cape Town Airport, collect your hire car and drive to your hotel in this beautiful city, within sight of Table Mountain.
 
Check in and relax in your magnificent surroundings.
Day 9
Today is free for independent sightseeing in Cape Town.
 
We recommend you purchase a day pass onboard the convenient Hop-Off Bus, which stops at all Cape Town’s key sights and beaches. The "Red Route" bus stops at the Table Mountain base station, where you can buy a ticket to ascend by cable car and enjoy one of the world’s most famous views. Continue to Camps Bay beach and the many attractions of the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.
Day 10
Today we recommend a full day exploring the beautiful Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve peninsula.
 
Start with an optional short boat trip from Hout Bay to view Cape Fur seals at Seal Island and continue via Chapman’s Peak Drive to spectacular Cape Point where you may see baboons, ostrich and perhaps even dolphins or whales in season (July/November).
 
On the return journey we recommend driving through naval Simons Town and visit the resident penguin colony at Boulders Beach. You can also make a short stop at the world famous Kirstenbosch Gardens, before returning to your hotel in the late afternoon.
Day 11
At leisure to relax and explore the "Mother City" of Cape Town.
 
Many optional activities are available in this beautiful city. You can visit Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned (advance booking essential in season) and explore the vibrant Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.
 
You can visit world famous Kirstenbosch Gardens or simply relax on golden Camps Bay beach – the choice is yours.
Day 12
Today we recommend a full day exploring the renowned Stellenbosch Winelands, travelling through the scenic Franschhoek Valley where a handful of French Huguenot refugees started South Africa’s now famous wine industry.
 
Visit the historic university town of Stellenbosch and several different wine estates of your choice. In the afternoon we recommend lunch at a good restaurant or wine estate, and a visit to the Cheetah Outreach project in Somerset West on the way home.
Day 13
Drive to Cape Town Airport for your flight home.
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