Guests are collected at their hotel. Description - Soweto - South Western Townships - the largest black city in Africa. See how 3,5 million people got its fame during the "apartheid" years. The tour to Soweto will consist of: Enter Soweto via the up-market area called Diepkloof Extension where some of the houses can cost in the millions. Drive through the Baragwanath area to soak up the sites, sounds and "smells" of Africa at close quarters - informal open-air butcher shop, herbalists, barbers and market etc. We pass Baragwanath Hospital, the largest hospital in the southern hemisphere. The tour continues with a drive through the various suburbs, including the early suburbs of Orlando where many of the political giants lived and the Kliptown area where the freedom charter was signed, now being developed as the Walter Sizulu square of dedication.
From there we visit a shantytown in Kliptown. This is the oldest suburb in Soweto. We meet the Kliptown Youth Programme were young people help to improve the life of young children. We visit one of these houses.
We visit the Nelson Mandela house museum and Vilakazi Street, which is the only street in the world where two Nobel Peace prize-winners lived.
All of our clients, both South Africans and from elsewhere comment on how welcomed, and safe they felt and how friendly the Sowetans are.
From Soweto we proceed to The Apartheids museum i.e.: Embark on a discovery of the racial segregation experienced by millions of South Africans a mere decade ago. On entering the building you are racially classified and you see this segregation in all forms of life. Excellent displays on the Soweto up-rising, ANC in exile, petty apartheid, solitary confinement, anti-apartheid movements abroad, sport boycotts, etc. Culminating in the birth a new democratic country, the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as President and witnessing one of the most progressive constitutions in the world.
Clients are dropped off at the hotel once tour is complete. Price includes entrance fees, excludes lunch
Constitution Hill is a unique heritage site in the inner city of Johannesburg. It is a campus for human rights, a place where visitors can come to witness and experience democracy at work. A visit to the site includes several attractions, which are all included in the tour price. The Constitutional Court, home of South Africa’s constitution, is one of the most significant pieces of post-apartheid architecture in South Africa. The Court houses a collection of artworks by eminent South Africa artists – over 200 tapestries, engravings, sculptures and paintings – all with a human rights theme. Built in 1893, the Old Fort is one of Johannesburg’s oldest buildings and was used as a fortress by Paul Kruger during the South African War. It has a forbidding entrance tunnel and striking fort architecture. Later the Old Fort was a prison for white male prisoners. Nelson Mandela was the only black prisoner to be held in this “whites only” prison.
The Women’s Jail is a handsome Victorian-style face-brick building, where the likes of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and other political activists as well as the notorious Daisy de Melker were held. An exhibition throughout the prison tells the story of the prison and the women who were incarcerated here. In the northern courtyard of the Jail stand two new buildings that house the Gender Commission and other Chapter Nine organisations. Number Four was a notorious black male prison, where Mahatma Gandhi and Robert Sobukwe were both held. Exhibition attractions include the Emakhulukhuthu (the isolation cells), exhibitions based on research with ex-prisoners, and prisoner blanket and soap sculptures. From the ramparts visitors can view the inner city residential areas, downtown skyscrapers, mine-dumps and leafy northern suburbs of Johannesburg. Constitution Square includes the Great African Steps, the “We the People Wall”, showing messages from South Africans about their democracy. The bricks from the demolished Awaiting Trial Block pave the steps and form the wall to the new Constitutional Court Chamber.
Guests are collected at their hotel. Visiting the Capital city of South Africa when it is wrapped in a Jacaranda purple haze is must.
In 1855, Pretoria was founded by Marthinus Pretorius, a Voortrekker leader. His intention was to name it after his father, Andries, who was instrumental in the Voortrekker victory over the Zulus in the monumental Battle of Blood River.
Today the area has been renamed the City of Tshwane, but the CBD still keeps the name of Pretoria. Pretoria continues as the administrative capital of South Africa.
The first stop is the impressive Voortrekker Monument and then the Scanskop fort. From there we pass Paul Kruger House Museum. From the museum we proceed to Church Square to explain the history on the old buildings and statues etc. Church Square was home to the first church built in Pretoria, which burnt down in 1882. The square marks what used to be the centre of Pretoria and is now home to many historically significant buildings, like the Ou Raadsaal (council chamber) and the Palace of Justice. The square is perhaps most famous for the large bronze statue of Paul Kruger, former State President, which stands in its centre.
Then we visit the Union Buildings which gives the visitor a spectacular view of the city. Pretoria is also known as the "Jacaranda City" because of the over 50 000 Jacaranda trees that lines her streets and carpet the city in purple in October. The first Jacaranda trees were imported from Rio de Janeiro in 1888 by a Pretoria resident.
This is a combined tour. Description as above.
The charming little village of Cullinan that has managed to hold on to much of its mine village character, it's historic stone and corrugated iron mine workers houses, offices and churches a throwback to the mining times of the early 1900s it lies 30 kilometres east of Pretoria, and is a must on anyone’s itinerary when in this part of the world.
Cullinan is famous for the discovery of what became known as the Cullinan Diamond – the largest rough gem-quality diamond ever found. The stone was named after Sir Thomas Cullinan who owned the diamond mine at the time. The stone, bought by the then Transvaal government was presented to King Edward VII and then cut into three large parts, an action deemed rather risky and difficult, but one that gave rise to the Great Star of Africa. – the largest polished gem from the stone, also known as Cullinan 1. The second largest gem from the Cullinan stone, known as the Lesser Star of Africa, is the third largest polished diamond in the world and part of the British crown jewels, on display in the Tower of London.
Cullinan's open-cast mine is among the biggest in the world, three times the size of the more famous Kimberley Big Hole.
Tours of this mine can be done as a motorised tour called the “Journey of a Diamond” which follows the route of the diamond from the shaft to the waste dumps. The other tour that you can choose from is the underground tour. This tour is 4 hour in a working mine.
The Pilanesberg National Park, which is situated a 2 hour drive north west of Johannesburg / Pretoria, is characterized by impressive volcanic mountain forms and rolling savannah grasslands 1300 million years old. These impressive features have created one of the most topographically diverse Reserves to be found in South Africa. The 55 000 hectares (132000 acres) of Pilanesberg National Park are home to some 10 000 animals and the park is now one of the privileged reserves hosting the Big Five and 364 species of bird.
A major reason for Pilanesberg's diversity of animals is that it lies in the transition zone between the arid Kalahari in the west and the humid Lowveld of the Northwest Province. The seven different habitats at the Pilanesberg attract and cultivate prolific birdlife.
Guests are collected at their hotel for an early start and proceed North West on a two-hour drive. After crossing the Hartebeespoort Dam we drive through Platinum country before we enter the Pilanesberg Nature Reserve. You spend the day with your driver/guide searching for the BIG FIVE i.e.: Leopard, Lion, Buffalo, Rhinoceros and Elephant.
Mineral water is included. You pay for your own lunch.
Pilanesberg Package - 2 nights/3 days "Deluxe Safari" Come and join us on a tour to one of the most popular game reserves in South Africa, the Pilanesberg National Park. This reserve is situated in the crater of an extinct volcano that literally blew its top off about 1300 million years ago and is the largest alkaline volcanic crater in the world. The hills of the Pilanesberg seen from the air form an almost perfect circle of concentric rings like the ripples of water in a pond. In 1979 this game reserve saw the largest translocation of game undertaken to date, Operation Genesis, when hundreds of animals were brought to the reserve to restock it. This was the beginning of the Pilanesberg National Park and today it is a well-stocked reserve with more than 7000 head of game showcasing most of the mammal species. South Africa has to offer including the Big 5. Being in a transition zone biome, you can also see our National Animal, the Springbuck at this reserve. It is also popular with birders who can enjoy 350 bird species in the park. Only 2 hours from Johannesburg in our vehicles and Malaria free, the Pilanesberg National Park is ideal as a weekend breakaway and for those that do not have too much time available but would like to experience the wonders of the bushveld and a chance to see the Big 5.
Today you will be collected from your hotel in Johannesburg or from the airport and transferred to the Platinum Province - North West Province. With a population less than that of Johannesburg, the North West province is sparsely populated. The landscape is dominated by igneous earth and provides fertile land for the farmers, yet is a harsh environment for the poorer local communities that do not have irrigation facilities. On route we visit the Chameleon Village for some curio shopping. This market sell hand carved items of stone, semi-precious stones and wood. The traders come from many different African countries, and speak a range of languages such as French, Swahili and Portuguese. We continue on our journey passing the Platinum Mines of the Bushveld Igneous Complex, arriving at Bakubung Bush Lodge which is situated in the Pilanesberg Game Reserve. After check in formalities and dinner there is a chance to visit Sun City. Sun City (same setup as Las Vegas) also borders The Pilanesberg Game Reserve is 15 minutes’ drive from the lodge.
After breakfast you depart on a 3 hour open vehicle game drive in The Pilanesberg Game Reserve to search for the big 5. Return to the camp around 11:00. Time to relax at the swimming pool and watch the animals coming down to drink at the waterhole near the lodge. Your next open vehicle game drive is at 17:00 i.e. a sunset game drive and dinner in the bush. Return to the lodge around 20:00.
After breakfast you depart on another 3 hour open vehicle game drive to search for the big 5. On your return to the lodge your driver will meet you and transfer you back to Johannesburg.
– 3 open vehicle game drives
– Transfers from hotel in Johannesburg to Pilanesberg Game Reserve and return to Johannesburg
– 2 x breakfasts
– 2 x dinners
– 2 night's accommodation
Above proposal is subject to availability at time of booking.
Guests are collected at their hotel for an early start and continue North West on a two-hour drive. After crossing the Hartebeespoort Dam we drive through Platinum country before we enter the Pilanesberg Nature Reserve. We spend the morning game viewing with our guide. This is a BIG FIVE reserve. After you have taken in the nature we drive you through to Sun City.
Sun City was developed by the hotel magnate Sol Kerzner, and was officially opened on 7 December 1979. In those days, Sun City was located in the Bantustan of Bophuthatswana, whic was declared an independent state by the South African government. Because Sun City was part of Bophuthatswana, it was allowed to provide entertainment such as gambling and topless revue shows, both of which was banned in South Africa at the time. Sun City was eventually re-incorporated into South Africa when Bophutatswana became part of South Africa again in 1994.
All facilities e.g. Golf, Valley of the Waves, The Palace, etc. at own expense. We depart at around 17:00 for your return trip to your hotel. Price includes: entrance fees at Pilanesberg Game Reserve and Sun City. Lunch for own account.
8 am & 10 am (morning) elephant educational program. Guests are guided in small groups on foot through The Elephant Sanctuary. Guides will provide in-depth information and insight into African elephants. You are introduced to our elephants in the forest area, where you can touch and interact with the elephants. You can see the special relationship that the handlers share with their elephants and become a part of it, forming your own relationship and bond with the elephants.
This is followed by a short trunk-in-hand walk with the elephants. You walk through the elephant night sleeping stables to get an insight, regarding elephant husbandry and the keeping of elephants in captivity. Guests also learn about the animals’ anatomy and feed them. If you are lucky and it’s a hot day, you may even see the elephants swimming. You can enjoy a drink from the cash bar on the main deck before departure. Pre-booked lunches are served on the deck overlooking the elephant enclosure. Flat walking shoes, sun hats and sun screen recommended, and remember to bring cameras.
2 PM (afternoon) elephant educational program. Guests are guided in small groups on foot through The Elephant Sanctuary. Guides will provide in-depth information and insight into African elephants. You are introduced to our elephants in the forest area, where you can touch and interact with the elephants. You can see the special relationship that the handlers share with their elephants and become a part of it, forming your own relationship and bond with the elephants.
approx. 2.5hours Please note: Shows start at 8h00 10h00 and 14h00
A short educational ride that lets you experience elephants from a different perspective – a privilege
historically reserved for kings! Elephant back rides may be added on to any of the day programs. Riding to be booked when paying for the program. Please note: this is only for fit and adventurous guests and we do not take any responsibility for any injuries directly or indirectly caused by this activity. Children must be older than 8 (eight) years of age to ride.
What to wear: jeans are best for riding.
The Sterkfontein Caves in the Cradle of Humankind is one of the world’s richest hominid fossil sites and also the site of the longest continuous palaeoanthropological dig in the world, with excavations having begun here in 1935. Hour long guided tours of the caves take visitors on a journey deep under the earth to the place where the remains of some of our oldest ancestors have been discovered. This makes the caves one of the major tourist attractions in South Africa. Before entering the caves, visitors are guided through an exhibition which details the story of the evolution of humankind and sheds light on what life was like in this part of the world millions of years ago. The exhibition also introduces visitors to the famous fossils which have been discovered in these caves, most notably Mrs Ples, a 2.1-million-year-old Australopithecus skull and Little Foot, an almost complete Australopithecus skeleton more than three million years old. The vital importance of these discoveries for our understanding of man’s evolution is also outlined in the exhibition.
After walking through the small exhibition, visitors then begin the tour of the caves. As the caves are deep and have some narrow pathways, visitors must wear comfortable shoes, and leave large handbags or luggage behind. People who suffer from claustrophobia, asthma or chest problems may find the visit too difficult. Highlights of the cave include the ‘bottomless’ lake and the small caverns where the most famous fossils were found. After exiting the caves you can follow the footpath around to the excavation site where scientists from the University of the Witwatersrand are continuing to work on finding more fossils.
Gold is central to the history of Gauteng and it was only as recently as 1886 that the city of Johannesburg was founded, mainly due to the vast amounts of gold to be found in the area. One of the oldest gold mines in the province, the Kromdraai Gold Mine, is an interesting place to visit for anybody looking to learn more about Gauteng’s gold rush history. Only a 40-minute drive north of Johannesburg, the Kromdraai Gold Mine is located in the scenic Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site.
Kromdraai was ahead of the Johannesburg gold rush. A certain Johannes Stephanus Minnaar first discovered gold on a farm here in 1881, although the site was only proclaimed a mine in 1885. At that time there were many mines in the area and Kromdraai was one of the most productive, yielding about 25 grams of gold per ton of ore. Miners back then had to work by candlelight without shoes or helmets. Donkeys were used to pull carts of ore along tracks snaking through the tunnels until they reached the outside.
On a guided tour of the old mine tunnel visitors learn about these old-fashioned methods of mining and can view the remaining evidence of the great amounts of dynamite which were used to blast the tunnels, while walking along the mine’s old ‘coco-pan’ tracks. The mine is entered via a large hole in the side of a hill and the tour lasts one hour, including a fascinating introductory talk by a guide explaining the area’s gold mining history.
The Maropeng Visitor Centre is an award-winning attraction with loads to offer visitors to Gauteng. Situated in the Witwatersberg and Magaliesberg mountain ranges, just an hour from Johannesburg and Pretoria, Maropeng is the official Visitor Centre of the Cradle of Humankind, one of South Africa’s eight World Heritage Sites and one of the major tourist attractions in South Africa.
The exhibition centre takes visitors on a journey of discovery to learn more about the origins of humankind, and is housed in the Tumulus, a unique architectural structure resembling an ancient burial mound. An underground boat ride starts the adventure, taking visitors through the various stages of Earth’s creation. Visitor’s then emerge into the main exhibition halls, where the evolution of humankind is illustrated through fun and interactive displays and games.
More than just an exploration of human origins, the Maropeng exhibition also inspires visitors to be more aware of threats to the environment. The sustainability wall, which runs across the main exhibition room, highlights important facts about modern humans and our consumption of rapidly decreasing natural resources.
Maropeng provides visitors with a rare opportunity to view original hominid and dinosaur fossils, as well as ancient artefacts housed in the fossil display room. The collections on display change throughout the year, ensuring there is always something new to see at Maropeng.
Guests are collected at their hotel. Attend either lunchtime or evening show. Lunchtime show starts at 11:30 and it finishes at 15:30. The evening show starts at 16:30 and it finishes at 20:00
We invite you to experience the spirit of Ubuntu at this Unique Cultural Venue where the people of Lesedi welcome you with music, song and the warmth of Africa. Lesedi and its cultural experience of old and new Africa was co-founded by renowned African explorer, Kingsley Holgate, who remains heavily involved in the day to day operations and ensures that every attraction is not only fascinating, but enriching. One of Lesedi’s many differentiating factors is the village’s natural and tasteful incorporation into the surrounding bush, river and forests, with five traditional homesteads including Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, Basotho and Ndebele.
Local families live permanently in each of these five homesteads and visitors are invited to observe the African way of life by either enjoying a short tour of the villages or actually living among these families in guest accommodation, offering all the necessary modern day amenities and comforts discerning visitors are accustomed to. Experience African culture at its best. Zulu warrior dance combined with other ethnic traditional dances. See the colourful huts of the Ndebele tribe adjacent to those of the Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi and Sotho. Lunch/Dinner includes crocodile as well as a range of exotic African dishes.
The Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre, formerly known as the De Wildt Cheetah Centre, is a breeding sanctuary for cheetahs and other endangered animals. It was founded in 1971 by conservationist Ann van Dyk and is situated in Hartbeespoort, in the foothills of the Magaliesberg, about one hour’s drive from Johannesburg. A day trip to the centre is well worth the drive if you’re interested in getting to know more about this important cause.
The centre has played a crucial role in the protection of cheetahs in South Africa, and has managed to breed roughly 600 – an astounding achievement considering the cheetah population in South Africa was estimated at 700 when the De Wildt breeding programme first started. In 1986, the centre celebrated its first major success and received international recognition when the cheetah was removed from the South African endangered species list.
A number of other creatures are also housed here including African wild dogs, brown hyenas, servals, suni antelopes, riverine rabbits and a population of vultures.
The centre is a non-profit institute and relies mainly on donations from sponsors, support from the public and income from tourism. It operates an outreach programme, visiting schools and institutions in an effort to raise awareness about cheetahs and nature conversation. An “ambassador cheetah” is present at these demonstrations, allowing people a chance to get a closer look. Visitors to the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre are able to book tours around the facilities and visit the cheetah enclosures.
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