Easily reached from South Africa's capital Johannesburg and one of the few reserves in southern Africa that's malaria-free, the Madikwe Game Reserve borders Botswana in South Africa's North West Province. It's one of the largest reserves in the country and home to what's known as the Super Seven, adding cheetah and wild dog to the already-famous Big Five. In fact, it's probably the best place in the country to get reliable sightings of African wild dogs, which hunt, like wolves, in formidable packs.
Day 1: London to Johannesburg
Fly overnight from London to Johannesburg.
Day 2: Arrive in Johannesburg
Arrive in Johannesburg, and check into the luxurious Michelangelo Hotel. Located on Nelson Mandela Square in the centre of Johannesburg, this member of 'The Leading Hotels of the World', the hotel boasts 242 suites and rooms. It's also perfectly positioned for access to some of the city's best shops and restaurants.
In the afternoon, embark on a tour of the township of Soweto. A vibrant, exciting and stimulating town, Soweto is home to over 2 million people, and has a vibrant, innovative and eclectic cultural scene - especially in music. A city with a rich and at times troubled past, it encapsulates the South African story. Embark on a tour of the town starting at the Hector Pieterson Museum, pass Mandela House and spend some time in its fascinating museum. Afterwards, visit Regina Mundi Church, a site that was utilised as a meeting point by many underground and banned political parties. Finish the tour with a visit to the largest stadium in Africa, Soccer City, which hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup opening and matches.
Days 3-5: Madikwe Game Reserve
Transfer by light aircraft to Madikwe Game Reserve. With its wild ridges dotted with rounded boulders and grassy plains that seem to roll on forever, Madikwe gives a great indication of what South Africa must have looked like hundreds of years ago. It's especially famous for Operation Phoenix, one of the largest game translocation exercises in the world. Between 1991 and 1997 more than 8,000 animals of 28 species were released in the reserve, including elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion, cheetah, wild dog, spotted hyena, giraffe, antelope and other herbivores. Today its vast plains are home to 66 mammal species - including all the Big Five - and approximately 300 resident and migrant bird species.
Embodying the spirit of this wild and rugged region is Madikwe Safari Lodge, your base for three nights. This sophisticated lodge is divided into three intimate camps of just 20 suites in total, cradled between two rolling hills with views across the game-filled plains towards the Dwarsberg Hills. Each suite has a fireplace, outdoor shower, wooden sundeck and private plunge pool, while activities include morning and evening game drives in open safari vehicles, bush walks, bird watching, stargazing, bush breakfasts, boma dinners and local community village tours.
Days 6-9: Cape Town
After your morning game drive, fly back to Johannesburg where you'll connect with a flight to Cape Town and transfer to the Four Rosmead Boutique Guest House. This intimate favourite is found on the very slopes of Table Mountain with views across Lion's Head, Signal Hill and, yes, South Africa's most iconic landmark. Relax with the Pamper Spa, outdoor pool or in your very own private garden. What's more, with just eight rooms, you'll enjoy a perfectly personalised service before you head out and taste your way through Cape Town's fresher-than-fresh seafood and Winelands-informed viticulture.
While staying in Cape Town, there are also lots of activities to enjoy and excursions to take. Enjoy a trip to Cape Point, the most southwestern corner of the continent. A breathtaking natural landmark, it's a mountainous scenic 30-km scenic landform. Another excellent excursion is a trip to the Winelands, a geographic region encompassing the towns of Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek that consists of a patchwork of award-winning vineyards surrounded by dramatic mountain ranges and fertile valleys. Or, you could just lie back and relax on the city's white sand beaches.
Day 10: Departure
Transfer to the airport for your flight home or extend your stay with a trip into the Winelands or along the Garden Route.
Day 11: Arrive in London
Arrive in London and continue your onward journey home.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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