South Africa 10 Days including Airfare
Cape Town and Pilanesburg National Park & Game Reserve
C GROUP: DEPARTURE FEBRUARY 15 – 24, 2019
Traveling with Steve Czaban and Brian Mitchell, Team 980
Book Now on-line or call 1-800-409-7755.
Mervis Diamond South Africa Safari Itinerary Highlights
This trip is sponsored by Mervis Diamond Importers and Team 980 Radio. The Mervis family comes from South Africa and have been in the South African diamond business for 80+ years. Ronnie Mervis will be leading this trip, proud to share his homeland with you. Redskins legend, Brian Mitchell, and Steve Czaban will co-host with Ronnie, representing The Team 980.
4 Nights at Cape Town’s SOUTHERN SUN WATERFRONT – With breathtaking views of Table Mountain, located at the waterfront, this modern, chic, and spaciously comfortable hotel offers everything you would expect from a full service hotel.
3 Nights at IVORY TREE LODGE – located in the Pilanesberg National Park and situated in the crater of an ancient and long-extinct volcano, the exclusive Ivory Tree Game Lodge is surrounded by typical African bushveld. Zebra level travelers will be accommodated in Standard Rooms, Rhino level travelers will be accommodated in Standard Rooms in the Pilane Villa, Lion level travelers will be accommodated in Luxury Suites and Elephant level travelers will be accommodated in the Family Suite.
- 7 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, and 3 Dinners
- Includes intra-Africa airline flight (Cape Town-Johannesburg).
- Airport transfers with private vehicle and driver, including a private ‘Meet and Greet’ service on arrival into South Africa.
- Early morning cable car ride to the top of Table Mountain, for glorious views of the city, ocean and countryside.
- Half day excursion to infamous Robben island – the historic prison of Nelson Mandela. Round trip ferry and escorted island tour included.
- Full day scheduled excursion to Cape Point including a visit to the Boulders Beach penguins and a seafood luncheon.
- Full day scheduled tour to the winelands, including wine tasting and lunch.
- Morning and late afternoon/early evening Game drives in specially designed 4×4 vehicles in Pilanesburg National Park.
Mervis Diamond Safari South Africa Itinerary
Day 01 Friday, February 15, 2019
Washington, DC – Johannesburg
Your exciting adventure begins today, as you board your flight bound for South Africa. Award winning South African Airways – recipient of the Best Airline in Africa trophy for 17 consecutive years – will fly our group in comfort and style.
Day 02 Saturday, February 16, 2019
Johannesburg – Cape Town
Touchdown in Johannesburg and, after completing Customs, continue with your flight to Cape Town – the ‘Mother City’. You will be met by our Great Safaris representative and transferred to your reserved hotel.
The Mother City has a peculiar habit – once a day, Capetonians check their watches. Now, this in itself is not very unusual. The strangeness comes into the fact that everyone looks at their watches at exactly the same time without consciously thinking about it. At exactly 12:00 pm every day, a loud bang fired from cannon on Signal Hill announces to the city that midday has arrived.
The Cape was established by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) as a halfway house along the trade route between the East and Europe. This became a place to mend ships, rest and heal weary visitors and most importantly to collect fresh produce grown by farmers in the area in order to feed famished sailors and soldiers before heading off again for the second leg of their arduous sea voyage.
Cape Town grew quickly and soon earned the reputation as the ‘Tavern of the Seas’. Today Cape Town is still a thriving port and never ceases to enthrall visitors with its unique beauty, ethnic diversity and energetic vibe.
With its iconic Table Mountain backdrop, Cape Town is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. An eclectic mix of architectural styles reflects both the area’s history and the more pragmatic realities of the 21st century. The city’s Edwardian and Victorian buildings have been carefully preserved, and many excellent examples of Cape Dutch architecture are found in the city and its environs.
The ability to make something that is both functional and beautiful has long been a proud aspect of the African culture. Cape Town boasts some of the most original and creative handmade arts & crafts and can be found at markets and shops all over Cape Town. You’ll find something that caters for any taste or style at the V&A Waterfront or at one of the many shops that open their doors in the surrounding Cape Town area.
Being a coastal town, the ocean plays an important part in everyday lives, beyond the calming effect for which it’s famous. There is an incredible diversity of marine life to be discovered and many fun-filled activities can be planned to make use of the bountiful Atlantic and Indian Oceans surrounding Cape Town.
ACCOMMODATIONS: SOUTHERN SUN WATERFRONT HOTEL
Wonderful sunsets over the Atlantic Ocean assist in making the Southern Sun Waterfront Cape Town a preferred business and holiday destination. A mere 15 minutes’ drive from Cape Town International Airport, a 5 minute walk from the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) and within walking distance to the V&A Waterfront, this hotel is superbly located to offer every guest easy access to the sights and sounds of Cape Town.
Breathtaking views of Table Mountain can be enjoyed from rooms that offer all the quality and comfort you would expect from a full service hotel. Offering guests a fitness center, a pool and convenient meeting rooms and a business center, the Southern Sun Waterfront Cape Town caters for all possible business or leisure traveler needs.
Modern, chic and spaciously comfortable, the Waterfront hotel rooms offer guests a rejuvenating, fully serviced escape from the bustling energy of Cape Town. The décor is tasteful and classy with an edge. Amenities cater for all possible requirements and include 24 hour in room dining and a host of channels available on satellite. Each guest room offers wireless internet access and the workstation with work lamp.
Unique cuisine and relaxed dining are just two of the many aspects that make for a simply superb dining experience to all restaurant guests. The newly renovated Yizani Restaurant is inspired by everything local and is authentically South African. Yizani translates as “Come in… Welcome” in Xhosa, and is perfectly appropriate in that this restaurant offers a world-class welcome that sets the scene for the experience to follow.
Cape Town (Table Mountain & Robben Island)
Awake this morning to a delicious breakfast at your hotel and then your private touring vehicle will collect you from the hotel to visit Table Mountain. It is best to ascend the mountain in the early morning before the clouds have settled onto the mountain top.
Later today we will transfer to Robben Island Ferry dock and depart on a scheduled boat trip across Table Bay to Robben Island. On arrival guests will be met by their guide – an ex-political prisoner and then taken on a bus ride with the guide providing commentary. Stop and visit the infamous Maximum Security Prison as well as the Murray’s Bay Harbor precinct attractions, such as the Muslim shrine, or kramat, and the Museum Shop.
For nearly 400 years, Robben Island, 12 kilometers from Cape Town, was a place of banishment, exile, isolation and imprisonment. It was here that rulers sent those they regarded as political troublemakers, social outcasts and the unwanted of society. During the apartheid years Robben Island became internationally known for its institutional brutality. The duty of those who ran the Island and its prison was to isolate opponents of apartheid and to crush their morale. Some freedom fighters spent more than a quarter of a century in prison for their beliefs.
This famous island has captured hearts and minds around the globe. Situated just a few kilometers from the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, it was “home” to Nelson Mandela for some 17 years. Today it has become a symbol of freedom, the transformative power of forgiveness and a place of political pilgrimage. The tour includes a 7-mile boat trip, which takes about half an hour each way and the tour lasts about three hours.
ACCOMMODATIONS: SOUTHERN SUN WATERFRONT HOTEL (Breakfast)
Day 04 Monday, February 18, 2019
Cape Town (Cape Point)
Depart this morning on a full day tour of the Cape Peninsula, which will feature a midday break to enjoy a fresh seafood luncheon. First you will travel via the 12 Apostles and Hout Bay, to Chapman’s Peak. This is one of the region’s most dramatic mountain drives and offers amazing panoramic views over the city and environs. Descend the mountain pass and continue on to the coastline.
This strip of the peninsula’s shoreline, commonly known as the Atlantic Seaboard, stretches some 34 miles from the waters of Table Bay along the western coast to the nature reserve at Cape Point. The exceptional beaches and rugged mountains along this coastline not only make this a popular drive, but also provide outstanding views across the Atlantic Ocean, with some of the most spectacular sunsets in the world.
The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve comes to an end at majestic Cape Point. Situated at the junction of two of earth’s most contrasting water masses – the cold Benguela current on the West Coast and the warm Agulhas current on the East Coast, the Cape of Good Hope is popularly perceived as the meeting point of the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans. Guests may take (optional, cost not included) the funicular to the vantage point from where they will be able to witness the “meeting of the two oceans”.
Today’s attractions include Boulders beach, which is home to a colony of endangered jackass penguins in Simonstown. Technically, these are African penguins… but early settlers thought that their braying sound was more like a four-footed pack animal than a two-footed bird!
You will also have the (optional, cost not included) opportunity to visit the colony of seals on the aptly named Seal Island, before returning to your hotel in the late afternoon. We would be happy to recommend some fabulous restaurants… Cape Town, after all, is the ‘foodie’ capital of South Africa!
ACCOMMODATIONS: SOUTHERN SUN WATERFRONT HOTEL (Breakfast, Lunch)
Day 05 Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Cape Town (Winelands)
Another day of unforgettable scenery begins as we depart on our full day tour to the winelands. Enjoy a spectacular drive through beautiful mountain scenery to the Cape’s World-Famous Wine Estates. You will stop at a popular winery where our group can sample some of the esteemed vintages and enjoy a cellar tour.
Franschhoek is our next stop – a gorgeous village surrounded by majestic mountains and often called the ‘gourmet center’ of South Africa. Some of the country’s finest restaurants are located in Franschhoek, before continuing to Paarl. This ‘pearl of the Cape’ lies nestled in the Berg river Valley, guarded by the huge granite rocks from which it gets its name. Paarl is also well known for its wine, cuisine and culture, and it also considered the home of the Afrikaans language.
We then continue to the lovely town of Stellenbosch, with its tree lined streets and historical architecture. The Stellenbosch University is the oldest college in South Africa! There will be time to explore Stellenbosch on foot – exploring the shops on popular Dorp Street and perhaps stopping for coffee in a quaint sidewalk café.
We will enjoy lunch today at a winery and then we return to our hotel for an evening at leisure.
ACCOMMODATIONS: SOUTHERN SUN WATERFRONT HOTEL (Breakfast, Lunch)
Day 06 Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Cape Town – Johannesburg
This morning, after breakfast, transfer to Cape Town International Airport for a scheduled flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg. You will be met on arrival by a Great Safaris representative who will escort you to the waiting transfer vehicle for the drive to Pilanesberg National Park, situated in the North West Province.
You will arrive into camp in time for lunch and then will have some time to relax or game watch from the comfort of your terrace. Later in the afternoon guests will gather for afternoon tea and refreshments before setting out on an exciting game drive. The wildlife adventure continues into the darkness, when you return to camp for a hearty dinner.
ACCOMMODATIONS: IVORY TREE GAME LODGE
Situated in the crater of an ancient and long-extinct volcano within the Pilanesberg National Park, the exclusive Ivory Tree Game Lodge is surrounded by typical African bushveld; rolling grasslands and lightly wooded areas, with fabulous views of the koppies.
This escape from city living is only two hours’ drive from Johannesburg and falls within a malaria-free zone. Each suite is tastefully decorated with a range of amenities for guests’ comfort and enjoyment. Décor is typical African in flavor, with warm and cool tones. Each of the suites at Ivory features a comfortable outdoor sitting area making for a relaxing setting. The room has an ensuite bathroom and for those that are adventurous can enjoy a shower under the African Sun. The room can accommodate two adults in 2 single beds or a king size bed configuration. The central facility includes a stunning feature pool, bar, conference rooms, dining room, bomas, reception and curio shop. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Days 07 & 08 Thursday & Friday, February 21 & 22, 2019
Pilanesburg National Park
You will have a total of 3 nights in Pilanesberg, with morning and late afternoon game drives every day.
The Pilanesberg National Park is 212 square miles in extent. It is almost perfectly circular because it comprises the area of a 1200 million years old volcano crater with a small lake in the centre. This very scenic terrain lies in the transition zone between Kalahari and Lowveld, and both types of vegetation are found here. The Pilanesberg National Park was opened in 1979. In the Pilanesberg National Park today live virtually all the animal species of southern Africa, including, lions, elephants, white and black rhinos, buffaloes, leopards, zebras, hyenas, giraffes, hippos and crocodiles. Over 300 bird species counted.
The crater of a long extinct volcano is the setting of Pilanesberg Game Reserve – a fascinating alkaline complex produced by volcanic eruptions some 1300 million years ago. Pilanesberg Game Reserve is one of the largest volcanic complexes of its kind in the world. Its rare rock types and structure make it a unique geological feature.
Pilanesberg rates high amongst the world’s outstanding geological phenomena. It has survived ages of erosion and stands high above the surrounding bushveld plains. The early presence of man can be seen in the numerous Stone and Iron Age sites that are scattered throughout the park. The park exists within the transition zone between the dry Kalahari and wetter Lowveld vegetation, commonly referred to as “Bushveld”. Unlike any other large park, unique overlaps of mammals, birds and vegetation occur because of this transition zone.
ACCOMMODATIONS: IVORY TREE GAME LODGE (Breakfast)
Day 09 Saturday, February 23, 2019
Pilanesburg National Park – Johannesburg
One last early morning in the bushveld for any final wildlife sightings.
Return to camp for breakfast and then depart on the journey back to Johannesburg, Enroute back to Johannesburg the group will stop at the Chameleon Village craft market where they can do some craft shopping.
Chameleon Village has the most distinctive and comprehensive African market in Africa- featuring curios, antiques and artefacts from all corners of the African continent. Products are available for the serious collector and casual shopper- and of course the highest standards are maintained. A visit to the Market is a most pleasant and vibrant experience. Be sure to do the traditional bargaining with the many enthusiastic vendors!
The journey concludes with the arrival at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo international airport for our South African Airways flight bound for the USA. (Breakfast)
Day 10 Sunday, February 24, 2019
Arrive Washington, DC
Arrive home early today…with memories and photos to last a lifetime!
South Africa: An entry permit will be issued to you upon arrival into South Africa.
South Africa requires two blank visas pages in your passport. We recommend one blank visa page for each other country visited. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond intended period of stay.
There are no required inoculations on this itinerary. However, malaria tablets are highly recommended. You may obtain these pills by prescription, from your regular physician.
AIRFARE: Round trip Economy Air aboard South African Airways direct from Washington DC, including taxes, fuel and the internal fares within South Africa; subject to change.
Book Now on-line or call 1-800-409-7755.
*Prices are per person based on double occupancy. Valid as of October 18, 2018 for departures from Washington Dulles (IAD) on February 15, 2019 only with the same itinerary; available at higher prices during other travel periods. Other departure points and domestic flights within the U.S. can be booked at additional cost pending availability. Subject to availability and currency exchange rate fluctuations. Prices are valid for new bookings only, are not retroactive and may change without notice. Package includes all current government and airline-imposed taxes and fees. Baggage and optional service fees, cancellation charges and other restrictions may apply.