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Kgalagadi Safari Holidays to Kalahari Desert Tours Namaqualand Bushmen

South Africa: Kalahari Safari + Wildflowers + Cape Town


1PJ12C
12 NIGHTS
FROM £3,998
Per person sharing
International flights quoted separately
This wheelchair accessible vacation to Cape Town in South Africa includes a safari in the arid Kalahari. It is superb for whale watching & viewing the seasonal wildflowers of Namaqualand, which bloom from mid-August to mid-September each year & transform the barren landscape into a carpet of many colours. Also visit Augrabies Falls. Accessible hotels, all transfers, game drives & sightseeing included.
Wheelchair Vacation Cape Town South Africa Safari Kalahari Wildflower
• 
South Africa
• 
Safari in Kalahari
• 
Augrabies Falls
• 
Namaqualand Wildflower
• 
Cederberg & West Coast
• 
Wheelchair Vacation Cape Town
• 
Table Mountain
• 
Cape Point
• 
Whales & Penguins
• 
Stellenbosch Winelands
• 
South Africa
• 
Safari in Kalahari
• 
Augrabies Falls
• 
Namaqualand Wildflower
• 
Cederberg & West Coast
• 
Wheelchair Vacation Cape Town
• 
Table Mountain
• 
Cape Point
• 
Whales & Penguins
• 
Stellenbosch Winelands
Day 1
You will be met at Upington Airport and transferred to your guest farm near this small town that acts as the gateway to the vast Kalahari.
 
Check in and relax under warm blue South African skies.
 
Note: Power chairs are not accepted on this flight, but we can arrange an overland transfer for your power chair from Johannesburg for an extra fee.
Day 2
This morning we travel 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. There are several self-catering rest camps, with accommodation in simple but comfortable air-conditioned chalets and tents. Your guide has an allowance to purchase provisions for breakfast, lunch & dinner each day.
Day 3
Today is devoted to game viewing in the vast Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park with your own driver/guide, travelling in his closed air-conditioned vehicle. You can discuss preferred routings and travelling times with him each day, but 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 and its 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.
 
We hope to see some big cats before returning to camp at around 09h00 for breakfast. The rest of the morning can be spent relaxing at camp, reading or bird watching, before setting out again at the time of your choice (usually the late afternoon) for another game drive.
 
We should see large herds of antelope including springbok, eland and blue wildebeest. We 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.
 
Note: Vehicles are not allowed to drive off-road in any national park in South Africa.
Day 4
After some final game viewing in Kgalagadi National Park, today we travel south for 4-hours through Bushmanland to Augrabies. On the way we enjoy a picnic lunch (included) and stop at a Bushmen craft stall to give you the opportunity of supporting this 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.
 
Check in and view Augrabies Falls, where conditions for photography are excellent. Accommodation is in simple but comfortable air-conditioned self-catering chalets, with your guide having an allowance to purchase breakfast in the camp restaurant each day. In the late afternoon enjoy a short drive in the park, where you may see giraffe, eland, and other smaller antelope.
Day 5
This morning we leave Augrabies Falls and drive 3-hours to the small town of Springbok in the heart of Namaqualand.
 
As we approach Springbok at certain times of the year you can see miles and miles of brightly coloured wildflowers that bloom here 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 6
During wildflower season we visit Goegap Nature Reserve, as well as more remote regions such as Kamieskroon depending upon where the wildflowers are at their best, with picnic lunch included. Enjoy photographing these colourful blooms, which are a truly remarkable sight.
 
At other times of the year there is much to photograph in these quaint rural towns in this far-flung part of South Africa, where the Bushmen once roamed. Learn more about their culture or adapt your itinerary to explore areas such as Riemvasmaak Canyon, the mountainous Richtersveld or the beautiful coastline at Port Nolloth instead.
 
In the evening marvel at the glorious night skies overhead, offering some of the best star gazing opportunities in the world.
  
Note: The wildflower areas only open at 11am.
Day 7
Today we travel 4-hours from Namaqualand to the scenic Cederberg Mountains, passing through the small towns of Garies and Bitterfontein (picnic lunch included).
 
Garies produces kaolin, which is an essential element in the production of paper and fine porcelain, and Bitterfontein produces and exports green granite. At Vanrhynsdorp we visit its Succulent Nursery that is home to the world’s largest collection of indigenous succulents.
 
On arrival in the Cederberg, check into your hotel in this region of dramatically beautiful rocky mountain scenery.
Day 8
This morning we leave Cedarberg and travel 2-hours to the coastal town of Paternoster, a peaceful fishing village that has sustained a local community for many decades. In this area, depending upon the rainfall, from mid August to mid September you may see spectacular fields of wild flowers.
 
We continue for 3-hours along the West Coast, stopping at Blaauberg Strand with postcard views of Table Mountain, before checking into your hotel in beautiful Cape Town.
Day 9
Today your guide will collect you for a full day tour of Cape Town.
 
We start with a short orientation tour of the key historical and architectural sites of the 'Mother City'. Weather permitting, we then ascend Table Mountain by cable car to enjoy one of the world’s most famous views (alternatively we drive up Signal Hill, with its wonderful view point).
 
In the afternoon we visit Kirstenbosch Gardens, nestled on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain and regarded as one the most beautiful botanic gardens in the world. Bequeathed to the nation by Cecil John Rhodes, the garden was established 1913. There is an avenue of camphor trees, a beautiful protea and fynbos garden, useful plants garden, sculpture garden and a dell garden as well as a world class collection of indigenous South African flora. Wonderful summer sunset concerts are held in the gardens on Sunday evenings from December to March.
Day 10
Today your guide will collect you for a full day tour to the beautiful Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve.
  
Enjoy wonderful ocean views as we drive around the Cape Peninsula to naval Simonstown, where we visit the resident penguin colony at Boulders Beach.
 
We continue to Cape Point where we hope to see baboons, ostrich and perhaps even dolphins or whales in season (July to November). We take an accessible funicular ride up to the Old Lighthouse, before returning via spectacular Chapman’s Peak Drive to Cape Town.
Day 11
Today enjoy a full day tour to the small seaside town of Hermanus, a scenic 2-hour coastal drive travelling via Gordon’s Bay and False Bay.
 
Along the way we stop at Bettys Bay to visit Harold Porter Botanical Gardens to view their marvellous collection of king protea, orchids, irises, daisies and fynbos, before continuing to Hermanus.
 
From July to November, southern right and humpback whales come here to breed and this is considered the best location for land-based Whale Watching in the world. Once severely endangered, these magnificent creatures of the deep are now breeding successfully in the area due to a major international conservation effort. Weather permitting, this will include an optional boat trip to get closer views (manual wheelchairs only).
 
Enjoy more whale watching from the cliffs before returning to Cape Town, travelling through the apple orchids of Elgin and Sir Lowry's Pass.
 
Note:  If you take the optional whale watching boat ride, wear a jacket as it can get cold on the boat and take a sun hat, sun glasses, sunscreen, camera & small towel. Take your own snacks & drinks. You will be on the water for several hours in seas that can be rough, so if you are not a good sailor remember to take preventative travel sickness tablets well in advance.
Day 12
Today enjoy a full day excursion to the beautiful Stellenbosch Winelands.
 
Our first stop is at the Cheetah Outreach project in Somerset West, a community-based programme seeking to raise awareness of the plight of the cheetah and campaign for its survival.
 
We continue to the historic university town of Stellenbosch, with its open air craft market and wonderful museums, before continuing to a wine estate for a light lunch (own account). We visit another wine estate along this famous wine route to taste its fine wines, before returning to Cape Town.
Day 13
Transfer to Cape Town Airport for your flight home.
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