Itinerary DAY 1 En route
DAYS 2 TO 5 Jazzy Cape Town and its gorgeous environs
Our days in Cape Town will be eventful, another reason to savour our hotel, the Travel+Leisure multi-award-winning One&Only Cape Town on the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. Other reasons: One&Only’s renowned spa—to which you’re invited as Micato’s guest; its extraordinarily attractive interior design; its dedication to graceful hospitality; and the One&Only’s location on the highspirited waterfront, complete with bang-up views of Table Bay, Devil’s Peak, Signal Hill, Lion’s Head, and of course Table Mountain, which may be, as David Livingstone saw it in 1841, draped “with its beautiful table cloth of fleecy clouds.”
On our first day we’ll pay a visit to Rosie’s Kitchen in Khayelitsha Township for a close look (and, if we’d like, the loan of our helping hands) as Rosie helps feed—as she has for the last couple of decades—the township’s destitute kids and elders. We’ll meet Golden, a beloved artisan who enlists kids to collect discarded tin cans, from which he creates stunning, keepsake “flowers.” And, of course, we’ll take the cable car to the top of Table Mountain, which, we’re told, is six times older than the Himalaya and so strikingly flat because it was overlaid long ago by an ice sheet (that the iconic peak is gorgeous and fascinating we don’t have to be told).
We’ll dine tonight in the home of Micato’s Capetonian friends and hosts, great purveyors of welcome and lore. We’ll take a full-day tour of the Cape Peninsula, including a trip on the Flying Dutchman Funicular to the tip of dramatic Cape Point, where we’ll look out at the great waters of the Atlantic tussling with the equally insistent waters of the Indian Ocean. We’ll visit Cape penguins in their daily rounds, ramble in Victorian-flavoured Simon’s Town, and at dinner tonight we’ll be treated to thrilling South African interactive drumming, which must be seen and heard to be believed, and which will make true, bedazzled believers of us. And we’ll revel in a full day ramble in the Cape Winelands, visiting wineries like third-generation Fairview and the four generation Kanonkop Wine Estate, visiting shiny little Dutch-heritage towns like Stellenbosch and Franschhoek and lazily lunching at the toweringly regarded Delaire Graff Estate restaurant.
DAYS 6 & 7 Ulusaba Private Game Reserve
A morning flight takes us to one of the jewels in Sir Richard Branson’s brightly plumed African crown: the Ulusaba Private Game Reserve, adjacent to Kruger National Park. Our domicile will be one of two (it almost goes without saying) luxury lodges: the treehouse-style Safari Lodge or the viewful Rock Lodge, both imaginatively integrated into their beautiful settings; Safari Lodge is set in lush forest beside a river bed often occupied by gigantically gamboling hippos, and Rock Lodge is perched on a handsome kopje, looking out at game-rich plains.
The Big Five and their equally fetching fellow fauna are in abundance in Ulusaba and Kruger, and our game-drives (between luxuriating in the lodges’ wealth of amenities and exceptionally fine dining) are some of Southern Africa’s most enthralling.
DAY 8 Overnight in Joburg’s leafy suburbs
After a morning game drive, we’ll fly by charter aircraft to Johannesburg, arriving in the early afternoon. Our stored bags await us in the Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa, a halcyon retreat where Nelson Mandela finished writing his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom.
DAYS 9 TO 11 The miraculous waterworld of the Okavango Delta
It’s hard to be more enthusiastic about the “vast, mesmerizing oasis” of the Okavango Delta. Suffice to say—until you experience it—that the Delta is in the topmost rank of world wonders (and more sweetly accommodating than most). We fly from Joburg to Maun, Botswana and then into the Delta for three nights based from Selinda Camp, the very model of everything a lovely, smartly designed, nature-graced Southern, or East, or Anywhere in Africa luxury safari camp should be. As one visitor wrote, “Every place you visit after Selinda will seem a disappointment.” And thus we end From Cape to Delta on a pure and thrilling high note: exploring the incredibly lush Delta by watercraft, 4-wheel drive vehicles, and on walks with Selinda’s cadre of enthusiast-guides, relaxing and recreating in the small (18-guest), superbly designed camp, enjoying its pool, grand views, and exceptionally great food.
DAYS 12 & 13 Back to Johannesburg for homeward flights
After a last foray into the Delta and a brunch at Selinda, we fly by charter to Maun, and on to a day room in the InterContinental at Johannesburg’s airport, where we’ll rest and refresh before flying home.
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