Viticulture Educational Safari
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Destination for this trip:
Cape Town, South Africa; South Africa; Stellenbosch, South Africa
Length of trip:
Approximate price of this trip per person:
from $ 2775
Best travel dates to go:
Detailed Description of this trip:
A tour for wine connoisseurs, wine makers and anybody with more than just a general interest in wine and wine making. Welcome to the fascinating world of South African wines! Meet South African wine makers, taste the wines and visit the vineyards before exploring the history and scenic beauty of Cape Town, Table Mountain and Cape Point with its most south-western point of the continent. Then on to the bush for 2 days safari near the world famous Kruger Park, with possibly encountering lion, leopards, buffalo, rhino and elephant, as well as nyala, impala, monkeys and numerous species of birds. Choose your own dates that suit you and choose your group size (minimum 2 people), or travel with Ntaba Tours on a guaranteed departure date tour (May 16 – 26, 2009).
This Trip is Recommended for:
Depart - On the Plane
Depart U.S. for South Africa
Day 1 - Cape Town
Arrive at Cape Town International Airport where your guide for the next couple of days will be welcoming you. Transfer to your accommodation in Stellenbosch, the heart of the Cape Winelands and 2nd oldest city of South Africa, nowadays one of the academic centers of the country. Much of the old-time charm still remains in the oak-lined streets of this university town.
Dinner at the hotel at a private venue. A guest speaker with an extensive knowledge on Californian wines will join you to give an introduction on the similarities and differences of wine making in California and South Africa. During and after the meal there will be ample opportunity for discussion and questions.
Overnight: D’Ouwe Werf****, luxury room, Stellenbosch
Day 2 - Stellenbosch
After breakfast depart for one of the Stellenbosch Wine Estates, overlooking False Bay, Stellenbosch and as far afield as Table Mountain. After a Welcome with coffee / tea, the next couple of hours will be filled with a fact-filled, entertaining and highly educational insight into South African viticulture: wine making procedures commonly used in South Africa, the different terroirs and the influence of the elements on the qualities of the wines produced, followed by a wine tasting presented by the host of the day. You will also have the opportunity to buy these wines or order them and have them delivered to your doorstep back home.
Lunch will be served at the wine estate.
Depart for Bein Wines, a new-kid-on-the-block, run and managed by Luca and Ingrid Bein. After a welcome in the cellar, you will undertake the Scenic Donkey Vineyard & Wine Tasting Walk with them.
It is time to burn off the extra calories gained over lunch on this 2.8 miles / 4.5km hike right through the vineyards of the Polkadraai Hills. Luca and Ingrid Bein, both Cape Wine Masters, and Merlot experts, will be joining you on this tour. Their donkeys will also accompany us and carry your bags and everything for a memorable wine-tasting experience on the most beautiful viewpoint of the area, overlooking False Bay from Stellenbosch till Cape Town. At least 8 different wines from this specific area will be presented, including the Amani: chardonnay and pendana shiraz (special edition), De Toren: Z, Reynecke: sauvignon blanc (organic wine), Zevenwacht: pinotage, possibly Raats: chenin blanc, Beau Joubert: cabernet and of course their own Bein: Little Merlot and Merlot. Should the weather not be accommodating, the hike will be shortened and the tasting done in the wine cellar. Please note: sneakers or hiking shoes as well as a moderate fitness level are required for this activity. Upon return at the cellar you will be met by Andrew and his wife Renee Hilliard (from Green Bay, WI) MD and co-owner of neighboring Beau Joubert Vineyard & Winery, who will be giving a personal insight in his life as an American owner of a wine farm in South Africa.
Return to the hotel for quick freshen up befor departing for dinner (included).
Overnight: D’Ouwe Werf****, luxury room, Stellenbosch
Day 3 - South Africa
After breakfast, depart for Franschhoek, a scenic 45 minute drive through the very heart of the Winelands. Franschhoek, translated ‘French corner’ is where most of the French Huguenots first settled when they came to South Africa as early as 1671.
Enjoy a wine tour for the more adventurous: this 3-hour tour will take you on a proper ‘wine safari’ through vineyards, orchards and fynbos behind the quaint village of Franschhoek. The tracks on which the safari vehicles take us are usually used by the farmers only, and not many people have been here before. The tour not only takes us to one of the most breathtaking viewpoints (at 2175ft. / 665m.) overlooking the Wemmerhoek Mountains, the Berg River Dam and the spectacular fynbos vegetation indigenous to this area, but we will also have the opportunity to visit two wine farms en-route for some tasting. One of them is GlenWood, a family-owned boutique winery, which produced tiny volumes of top quality wines. Empowerment and community development are high priorities at GlenWood, which recently resulted in the farm being awarded the Farm Health Award for the pioneering initiatives in uplifting and improving the quality of life of their farm workers.
Lunch will be served at La Petite Ferme, one of the more intimate wineries in the Cape Winelands.
We leave Franschhoek behind us again to go back to the hotel for a quick freshen up before the evening program starts.
Meet the Garagistes, in one of their homes, most probably in the garage...
The South African Garagistes Movement was started in 2002 and now has about 20 active members. They make tiny volumes of wine, usually in their garages, hence the name. A lot of the members have other full time jobs and are not linked to the wine industry at all. They have just let their hobby take over a little bit more than expected. We will meet some of Garagistes, who will each be presenting their own wines and stories. To keep the tasting palette working properly, light snacks will be provided.
Enjoy Dinner at 96 Winery Road, the restaurant of Ken Forrester, one of the most prominent, flamboyant and most entertaining wine makers of the area, on our last night in the Cape Winelands.
Overnight: D’Ouwe Werf****, luxury room, Stellenbosch
Day 4 - South Africa
After breakfast and check out, we’re on the road to the Cape Peninsula! The scenic drive along False Bay will take us through the coastal villages of Muizenberg and Fishhoek before we visit the Boulders’ Beach African penguin colony in the naval town of Simonstown. In the Cape Point Nature Reserve you’ll have the opportunity to take your picture at the most south-western point of the African continent, before visiting the Cape Point lighthouse.
Lunch will be enjoyed at the restaurant overlooking False Bay.
Just outside the Nature Reserve we will visit the Cape Point Vineyards (groups of 8 pax minimum), one of the newer vineyards in the Cape, who have been internationally recognized for their superb quality Sauvignon Blanc.
We will continue our way along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean where we will check at our accommodation.
Dinner is served in-house.
Overnight: Vineyard Hotel****, courtyard deluxe room, Cape Town
Day 5 - South Africa
After breakfast depart for the Cape Town city tour before visiting the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens set against the slopes on the side of Table Mountain. It is world-renowned for its diversity and beauty, especially of the Cape flora it displays. The 1.5hrs we will be spending here will be too short to experience the whole garden, but we will be able to touch upon the Cape fynbos, the protea’s, the medicinal garden as well as the original hedge planted here in 1660 by the founder of Cape Town, Jan van Riebeeck.
Visit one of the oldest wine farm of the Cape: Groot Constantia Estate. Founded in 1685 it has been producing top quality wines for over 300 years. On top of that the Estate itself is one of the finest examples of Cape Dutch architecture and historical monuments. After the cellar tour and tasting, lunch will be served either ‘on the stoep’ or in the sun baked courtyard.
Weather permitting, we will be going up Table Mountain. The cableway takes you to the summit in under 10 minutes and the cable car's rotating floor ensures that you will get a 360 degree aerial view of the city before reaching the top.
Day 6-8 - South Africa
After early breakfast, depart for flight to Hoedspruit. Transfer to a private game park. Enjoy your first afternoon game drive. Hopefully you will spot the Big 5: lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino and the elephant.
Dinner will be served around the fire in the traditional boma.
Overnight: Kapama Game Reserve, Kruger area
For your days at the Kapama Private Game Reserve:
Two daily game drives are part of the fully inclusive tariff and your skilled ranger and tracker do their best to find the animals of Africa for you to admire.
Expect a wake up call at between 5am and 5.30am and gather for tea or coffee and rusks before heading out at first light. If you are lucky, the big cats will still be around after their night of hunting. This is Big 5 country (Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino and Buffalo) all of which are possible to see during your stay in Kapama Game Reserve.
There are also many other species to be seen, large and small, as well as fascinating plants and colorful birds. Stop halfway through the morning game drive for hot drinks and rusks from the Landrover snack box and return at around 9am for breakfast. During the rest of the day, you are likely to see wildlife like nyala antelope and vervet monkeys around the lodges.
At about 3.30pm everybody convenes for high tea, before departing with the same ranger/tracker team for the day’s second African bush safari.
Enjoy a sundowner drink along the way (not included in the tariff), and get out of the vehicle to stretch your legs and watch the sun go down over the distant Drakensberg Mountains.
As darkness descends it’s time to return to the safety of the Landrover and let the tracker scan the landscape with a spotlight picking out the glinting eyes of nocturnal animals. Return to the lodge at around 7pm, where there is time to freshen up before dinner.
Optional Extras during your visit at the Kapama Private Game Reserve (on own account):
Elephant Back Safari
Endangered Species CenterGolfing Safari
Romantic Sleep Out
Spa in Wellness Center
Day 9 - On the Plane
Morning game drive followed by return to airport for flight home.
After a morning game drive and breakfast, transfer to Hoedspruit for your flight to Oliver Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. Depart South Africa for your flight home. Arrive back in the U.S. the following day.
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