We’ve paired delectable South African wine with an exhilarating safari, creating one of the most exciting wine vacations in the world!

In the shadow of Table Mountain in the Western Cape lies South Africa’s famed wine country. The first vines were planted by the Dutch governor of Cape of Good Hope back in the 17th century. Thanks to its dry, mountainous climate, the region is one of the world’s top ten largest wine producers and is known for its incredible Chenin Blancs, Bordeaux-style blends, Cabernet Sauvignons, and native Pinotages.  We’ll stay in the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town and the university and wine town of Stellenbosch.

You’ll not only learn about a variety of incredible wines but of South Africa’s history and culture as they are intrinsically intertwined. The country is truly one of the most amazing lands on the earth and you will be inspired by its music, its people, and its culture.

After we’ve sipped and savored our way around the Western Cape, we’ll hop on a plane and head East for a thrilling safari, just outside Kruger National Park. There’s nothing like sitting in an open Land Rover as your ranger and spotter track a pride of lions or a herd of elephants. It’s an incredible event and something everyone should have the opportunity to experience at least once in a lifetime. We have never seen someone unimpressed with a safari.

Unique Experiences

  • Join our small group public tour or create your own private group with a minimum of only 6 people
  • Combine wine with a safari adventure in one epic vacation!
  • Visit wineries ranging from small to large scale, from modern to historic while testing many grape varietals including the native Pinotage
  • Experience the most famous wine regions of South Africa including the Cape, Stellenbosch, Franschoek, and Paarl
  • Spend time in both modern Cape Town and the university and wine city of Stellenbosch
  • Seek out wildlife such as lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and cheetahs on a thrilling (and luxurious) safari, which should be on everyone’s bucket list
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Tour Details

South Africa Wine & Safari Tour Details

  • Location: South Africa
  • Next Tour Date: October 2 – 10, 2020
  • Trip Price Per Person: $4,750  Internal round trip flights from Cape Town to Hoedspruit and Hoedspruit to Johannesburg (estimated to be $600) is additional.  We will purchase this for you and include this cost on your invoice.
  • Optional single supplement: $1,100
  • Host: Willem Swanepoel
  • Meals: All of your meals except most lunches and one dinner
  • General Tour FAQs

Please note: Because we must provide a deposit to ensure space on safari, the $500 deposit for this trip is not refundable or transferable to another trip, starting seven days after you receive your trip confirmation email and Pre-Departure Packet.

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Private Tour Option

  • Private Tours are available to book with your own group on any date you choose, given guide and lodging availability
  • Trip Price: $4,750 per person ($1,100 single suppl.)
  • Minimum: 6 people
  • Customizations to the itinerary possible with additional per person fees
  • Please note –  Our pricing is based on double occupancy lodging. If upon finalizing your private trip, your group has a solo traveler in a room without a roommate, the single supplement becomes mandatory. This amount will differ depending on the itinerary. Please contact our tour operations team for more details.
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Tour Itinerary

Day 1

VA Waterfront Cape Town South AfricaWelcome to beautiful South Africa! Your guide will meet you in the lobby of our host hotel at 2:00 PM for introductions to go over expectations for our coming trip. We’ll start with a fun wine tasting giving a nice overview of the width and breadth of South African wines.

We will then climb into the van to shuttle to the famous V&A Waterfront. You’ll have free time to walk around and explore the many attractions the waterfront has to offer, including local shops, museums, an aquarium, or even just strolling along the shoreline taking in the views of the water to one side and Table Mountain on the other.

Later, we’ll meet at the pier to board a boat to enjoy a delicious wine-paired dinner cruise while taking in the delightful views of the Cape Town skyline.

Day 2

South Africa Wine Tour SteenbergAfter breakfast at the hotel, we will depart for the historic wine region of Constantia. It was established in the late 1600s as South Africa’s first wine region by the second governor of the Cape of Good Hope, Simon van der Stel (whome Stellenbosch is named after). Originally known for its dessert wine called Vin de Constance, it is now well known for its high end Sauvignon Blancs, Bordeaux blends, and a more modern dessert wine, Muscat Blanc.

Our first stop is Steenberg Winery. Steenberg was the Cape’s first farm, established in 1682, and has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Now an expansive winery with luxirious accommodations, we’ll enjoy a tasting of their finest wines while relaxing on their beautiful outdoor terrace.

Next, we’ll head to another historic winery, Groot Constantia, where you can choose between two restaurants to grab lunch on your own.  After lunch, we’ll reconvene for a tour of their cellar and a fun chocolate and wine tasting.

Groot Constantia is one of the larger commerical wineries in the area. In contrast, our next stop is a picturesque boutique winery, Constantia Glen.  We’ll enjoy another lovely wine tasting before heading back to Cape Town.

Tonight, we’ll have a short walk to dinner at a somewhat touristy but very fun restaurant that is alive with music, dancing, drumming and food from all over Africa!

Day 3

Stellenbosch South Africa WineWe check out and depart this morning for Stellenbosch, a university town with very Dutch roots and fantastic Cape Dutch architecture. Set against majestic mountains, Stellenbosch is situated in a fertile river valley and boasts a mild Mediterranean climate with rainy winters and hot summers – ideal for growing the grapes that make this area so famous.

Our first stop is a private wine tasting at the DeMorgenzon Winery, beautifully located on top of a hill with a backdrop of the ocean and mountains.  You can see Cape Town and Table Mountain from the winery, one of the most scenic wine settings in a country full of them.

After, we’ll head down the hill to Jordan Winery, owned by Gary and Kathy Jordan for the past 37 years, where you’ll have a chance to lounge on their stunning patio while grabbing lunch on your own. We’ll reconvene to learn about their terroir and taste their impressive line up of world-class wines before taking a short walk to a lavender farm.

We’ll then shuttle the rest of the way into town and check into our hotel. Tonight, we’ll enjoy a special private dinner and wine tasting hosted by the owners of Muratie Winery. Muratie is proud to still use traditional grape growing techniques just as hand picking and hand sorting, which they hope you will taste in the quality of their wines.

Day 4

South Africa Stellenbosch WineryToday we start by heading to Somerset West at the foothills of Helderberg Mountain and the olive groves and vineyards of Morgenster where we’ll taste their award-winning Bordeaux-style wines, Italian cultivars, and extra virgin olive oil. The estate was founded way back in 1711 but is currently run by daughters Federica and Alessandra of the Italian family that owns and operates the business.

After, we’ll visit the beautiful gardens and grounds of the historic Vergelegen winery for an indulgent wine-paired lunch at their award-winning restaurant. The elaborate estate was founded in 1700 when the name (meaning “situated far away”) was very relevant to the owners.

This afternoon we take a wonderful guided walk through Stellenbosch learning about the area’s history, culture, and architecture. You’ll then have a bit of free time to explore this adorable town, stroll along the tree-lined streets, do some shopping, and grab dinner on your own.

Day 5

South Africa Winery FranchoekWe are off to the Franschoek Wine Valley, known for its full-bodied red wines featuring Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

We start with a private tasting at the beautiful Anthonij Rupert Winery  in their historic and recently refurbished Manor House, located just beneath the jagged peaks of the Groot Drakenstein Mountains.

We’ll enjoy a delicious lunch at the Pierneef à La Motte Restaurant, named after the South African artist Jacob Hendrik Pierneef. Pierneef’s appreciation of the country’s diversity is reflected in the restaurant’s focus on heritage cuisine and how it embraces cultural influences, ingredients, and recipes.

This afternoon, we’ll enjoy a wine tasting at GlenWood Wineries who focus on eco-friendly viticultural practices and use natural winemaking materials and techniques.

Tonight, we’ll have dinner at a local restaurant housed in a fully restored historic home.

Day 6

Fairview Winery PaarlToday is our final day of the wine portion of our tour. We would be remiss not to visit the wine valleys of the Paarl wine region before heading east for our safari.

We’ll start with a delightful sustainable wine and cheese pairing at the Fairview farm and winery.

We’ll then make our way over to Spice Route, a marketplace of culinary artisans from around the world, where you’ll have time to wander through the stalls, grabbing lunch on your own wherever suits your fancy.

After you’ve eaten your fill, we will continue on to Oldenburg Vineyards, tucked away in the mountains in an area known as Banghoek, for a taste of their range of incredible wines.

Tonight, we’ll enjoy a wonderful wine-paired dinner at Terroir, located on the grounds of Kleine Zalze winery, known for their award-winning Chenin Blanc and Shiraz.

Day 7

South Africa Safari Today, we say goodbye to the fertile valleys of South Africa’s beautiful wine regions and say hello to the rugged wild of South Africa’s bushland.

We take a morning flight to Huidspruit airport near Kruger National Park and a transfer to the Chapungu Luxury Tented Lodge in the Thornybush Game Reserve. This afternoon, after getting settled into our luxury camp, we’ll take our first driving safari in our comfortable Land Rovers.

Our spotters and trackers will work hard to make sure we see as many of the reserve’s 48 mammal species, 112 tree species, 230 bird species and 54 reptile species as possible. The drives are absolutely phenomenal and we see an incredible array of animals at what seems an amazingly close (but safe) distance.

We’ll stop for “sundowners” (cocktails) as the sun sets over the bush. For dinner we have the first of the gourmet meals cooked by the lodge’s staff.

Day 8

Elephant Family South Africa SafariAfter a quick cup of coffee or tea, we depart at first light – a time of day many animals are active – for another game drive.

We get back to camp a few hours later and enjoy breakfast and perhaps a quick nap. After a gourmet lunch, we’ll offer an optional bush walk under the care of our professional (and armed) ranger. You’ll be thrilled by the experience and get the chance to witness some of the smaller species, like the dung beetle or geckos, or even larger animals such as giraffes, at close range.

Everything is optional and you can relax in the lodge if you wish to skip the bush walk. In fact, we find relaxing in the lodge while reading a book, sipping a glass of wine, or chatting with your friends to be one of the most peaceful experiences you will ever have. There is something about being in the middle of the African bush that makes your cell phone and email seem … unimportant.

We repeat yesterday’s late afternoon safari drive, which is different each time thanks to the animals. If we are lucky, we can catch a lion roaring (absolutely amazing), a thrilling chase, or perhaps a mother leopard with her small cubs. Sundowners and dinner cap the day.

Day 9

Leopard on safariWe have our final attempt to complete our viewing collection of all of the “Big Five” animals (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and Cape buffalo) before transferring back to the airport for our flight to Johannesburg. Our tour ends at the airport in Johannesburg and you can choose to either fly home or spend time in this city.

As is with every Taste Vacation tour, the attention to detail is incredible. Everything from ensuring that participants have enough wine, tasting spectacular wines, visiting exclusive wineries, dining on great food, touring beautiful vineyards, plenty of activities to keep us busy, and enjoying unique restaurants is covered.

Elizabeth & Jake

I was concerned about the limitations of being on a guided tour as well as having to spend the entire time with a group of strangers. What I found was that the tours were extremely well planned and the accommodations, meals, wine tastings, and activities were perfect! And at the end of the trip, the people that began the tour not knowing each other, parted as a group of forever friends planning another adventure together with Taste Vacations.

Alice T.

Tour Accommodations

Cape Heritage Hotel Cape Town

Nights 1 – 2:  Cape Heritage Hotel – Situated in Cape Town’s fashionable Heritage Square, this intimate boutique hotel offers access to the city’s vibrant street life, shopping and restaurants – and happens to be one our own personal favorites! The staff is incredibly friendly and attentive and the rooms provide a luxurious retreat from the urban surroundings. It’s courtyard is also home to the oldest known fruit-bearing grapevine in South Africa!

Nights 3 – 6:  Oude Werf – This elegant boutique hotel is the oldest running hotel in South Africa, spanning over three centuries! It offers eclectic historical architecture and art while still providing opulent modern accommodations. Located in the heart of Stellenbosch and within walking distance of many shops, cafes, and wine bars.

Nights 7 – 8:  Chapungu Tented Bush Camp – A part of the Thornybush Private Game Reserve, this small enclave of tented cabins have fantastic creature comforts and the impeccable staff that will make you feel like royalty.

Please note: Hotels are subject to availability.  If listed hotel is not available at time of tour, a hotel that is equal or better to the original will be secured.

What is Included

  • All Local Transportation
  • Double Occupancy Lodging
  • All of your meals except most lunches and one dinner
  • All Scheduled Activities
  • Wine During Organized Tastings
  • Professional Tour Host

Not Included: Travel to and from destination, wine with meals, flights from Cape Town to Hoedspruit and Hoedspruit to Johannesburg (which we will purchase for you), personal expenses, and optional gratuities to local staff and your Host. Travel insurance is also not included, though we highly recommend it.  Check out our Travel Insurance page for more information.

While the general trip itinerary will remain the same, the actual restaurants, hotels, and activities listed are subject to modifications. Changes that are out of our control are common — restaurants close or lose their amazing chef, a winery changes their visiting hours, a hotel gets remodeled, etc. You are entrusting us to create an outstanding vacation for you and so it is possible we may take the liberty of making necessary changes to the itinerary that will improve your overall trip experience. If there is any one experience that is going to make or break your trip, please discuss this with us in advance.

 

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Arrival & Departure

We begin in Cape Town and meet on the first day at our hotel in the late afternoon. Our trip ends in Johannesburg at the airport in the early afternoon on the last day of the trip. You can choose to either fly home (or to other parts of Africa) this evening or spend additional time in this city. You will need to book your airfare INTO Cape Town and OUT OF Johannesburg.