Once voted the most beautiful country in the world, South Africa is comprised of diverse landscapes offering very different, yet equally incredible views. The mountains, forests, coasts and deserts all combine as a cornucopia for your eyes that will lift your spirits. One may be surprised at how South Africa is remarkably similar to the U.S. in many ways, offering comfortable accommodations, delicious food and a solid road system for safe and easy travels. In contrast, South Africa is home to one of the largest concentrations of wildlife on earth. Expect to encounter exotic creatures on six big game drives – Lions, Zebras, Elephants, Leopards, Giraffes, Rhinos, Penguins, and scores of other animals you’ve maybe only seen in pictures. Of course you will be staying in a five-star resort lodge while you are “Roughing It” in the wild. Follow the Garden Route through scenic Pretoria, Plettenberg Bay and Knysna National Lake Area. Travel the countryside from Johannesburg to Cape Town; visit a diamond mine, a corn and soybean farm, a banana plantation, a purebred cattle farm and an ostrich farm. Ascend Table Rock Mountain for spectacular views. Visit the Castle of Good Hope, the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve and Cape Point. Sample wines from impressive vineyards and learn about their fruit industry. Experience the vibrant and colorful traditions of various African tribes, and visit the Apartheid Museum, the world’s preeminent museum dedicate to South Africa’s 20th century history. This is a wonderful tour that always exceeds expectations.
- February 8 - 22, 2022
Day 1: Depart USA
Meet your Rupiper Tour Guide at the Atlanta, GA International Airport for your evening flight to Johannesburg, South Africa. (In-flight meal service)
Day 2: Arrive in South Africa / Pretoria
Upon arrival in Johannesburg, enjoy your first glimpse of the country as you travel via private motor coach to Pretoria, the capital city of South Africa. Your hotel will be a welcoming sight after your long journey. Tonight you enjoy a wonderful dinner. (In-flight meal service, D)
Day 3: Pretoria
This morning, depart for the Lesedi Cultural Village. “Lesedi” meaning “Light,” is set in the pristine bushveld and the rocky hills close to Johannesburg. At this multi-cultural center you experience the vibrant and colorful traditions of South Africa’s various tribes. Tour their traditional villages and see real South African culture unfold while listening to their rhythmic drums and whistles. The program includes traditional singing and dancing followed by a traditional dinner in the “Boma” – certainly a must to understand South Africa’s cultural diversity. After lunch depart for a tour of the Cullinan Diamond Mine, which was established in 1902. The world’s largest rough diamond was discovered here in 1905, with an uncut weight of more than 3000 carats. This diamond mine, which is the world’s only significant producer of rare blue diamonds, was recently sold by De Beers for $167 million. Return late afternoon to your lovely Pretoria hotel. (B, L, D)
Day 4: Pretoria / Kroonstad
Today’s adventure begins with a visit to a corn and soybean farm in the Free State Province. We will also visit and learn about their feedlot. Enjoy lunch before departing to Kroonstad. Here you visit a game farm that raises a variety of species, including rhino, buffalo, and sable antelope. Experience a little taste of local hospitality as the Crous family invites you to a BBQ dinner. End the night relaxing at the lovely Arcadia Guesthouse. (B, L, D)
Day 5: Kroonstad / George
Fly to George Airport, located on the Garden Route of South Africa. Upon arrival you transfer to Premier Hotel: The Moorings in Knysna (pronounced Nye-sna). Knysna is one of the quaintest little towns you’ll ever experience and one of the great attractions on South Africa’s beautiful Garden Route. (B, D)
Day 6: Knysna / Plettenbergbay / Oudsthoorn
Your journey today includes one of the most picturesque regions of South Africa. Plettenbergbay, which was originally named Bahia Formosa (Beautiful Bay) by the Portuguese navigator, Manuel de Mesquita Peterestrelo, was later renamed after Dutch Governor Joachim van Plettenberg in 1779. Continue along the scenic Garden Route to the Tsitsikama National Park, where the booming breakers of the Indian ocean relentlessly pound rocky shores and where temperate high forest and fynbos roll down to the sea in an unspoiled verdant carpet. Tsitsikama means “water begins,” an indicator of the abundance of rainfall, rivers, and streams in the area. Enjoy splendid views of the sea on one side and its forest and mountains on the other side. After a stop and lunch, you travel to Oudtshoorn, the ostrich capital of South Africa. Oudtshoorn is situated at the foot of the Swartberg Mountain range. Here you visit the Hooper High Gate Ostrich Farm. At this commercial and show farm, you learn how valuable the feathers, eggs, and hide of the ostrich are and the various uses for them. There are about 400 ostrich farmers in the surrounding area but only three farmers have distinguished themselves worthy enough to be show farmers. Tonight you stay in Oudsthoorn at wonderful accommodations. (B, L, D)
Day 7: Oudsthoorn / Cape Town
Following breakfast head for Cape Town, traveling through the Klein Karoo region and Calitzdorp, known for its extensive apricot orchards as well as being the port wine capital of South Africa. Travel through the best crop producing region in South Africa via Barrydale, home to the first wine cellar of the area, which was established in 1940. This vineyard sparked the beginning of the wine industry in the region. Arrive in Caledon, one of the highest wheat producing areas, which also gained attention for their hot water springs. Stop at a working wheat and sheep farm situated in the heart of the Overberg. This outgoing farmer tells tales of farming in South Africa and paints the picture of this landscape’s advantages and disadvantages. Enjoy a lovely home cooked lunch of traditional African dishes, which his wife always prepares for us. Here you can also look at the neighbors’ corn crop. Arrive late afternoon in Cape Town, the pride of the southern African subcontinent and South Africa’s most visited destination. You will stay in Cape Town for the next three nights. (B, L, D)
Day 8: Cape Town
Weather permitting you’ll ascend Table Mountain for one of the most spectacular views on earth. Continue on to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve and to Cape Point for a memorable vista of the point where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. Stop in Simonstown, which is famous for its beaches, particularly Boulders Beach, where we visit a large penguin colony. Everyone loves seeing these cute little critters enjoying the warm and sunny weather! Return to the city where you will find a variety of restaurants on the waterfront, only steps from your hotel. (B, L)
Day 9: Cape Town
Depart for the beautiful historic town of Stellenbosch, the second oldest town in South Africa. The town’s cultural heritage is depicted in local art galleries, antique shops, and fine architecture. There are more than 106 wine cellars within a 16-mile radius of Stellenbosch. The heart of South Africa’s wine industry is renowned for its unrivaled natural beauty, flourishing wine, fruit industry, and fine Cape Dutch architecture. Visit a lovely winery, where you will sample some of the local vintage. Enjoy a nice picnic lunch at the vineyard, before returning to Cape Town for an evening enjoying dinner along the pier, or perhaps getting a glimpse of the city from atop the Ferris Wheel next door. (B, L)
Day 10: Cape Town / Mpumalanga / Hazyview
Early this morning fly to Mpumalanga International Airport and journey on to the famous Kruger National Park, one of the oldest and largest wildlife reserves in Africa. Late in the afternoon, enjoy the beginning of your game drives – a great opportunity to discover the wonder of the African bush and to view wild animals in their natural environment. Conclude the day with a BBQ dinner in the boma. (B, D)
Day 11: Kruger National Park
Start the day with an early morning game drive in an open vehicle, returning in time for breakfast. This national park of nearly 5,000,000 acres was established in 1898 to protect the wildlife of the South African Lowveld. Kruger Park is unrivaled in the diversity of its life forms and a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques and policies. The large number of wild animals available to view in Kruger Park is almost unbelievable. (B, L, D)
Day 12: Hazyview / Kapama Private Game Reserve
We journey through the countryside admiring some of South Africa’s most spectacular scenery along the eastern escarpment of the Drakensburg Mountains. Visit God’s Window, Blyde River Canyon, and Bourke’s Luck Potholes – all scenes that can be found in every coffee table book that has ever been published about South Africa. Next up is everybody’s favorite – Your stay at Kapama Private Game Reserve via the northern Drakensberg mountain range, which provides a majestic backdrop to the largest private game lodge in the Greater Kruger National Park region. Arrive in time for an afternoon / evening game drive in search of the BIG FIVE. You overnight at the Kapama Southern Camp. You can’t believe how wonderful your suite at the Kapama Private Game reserve is. Travel off road and on paths to discover and witness the BIG FIVE (Lion, Rhino, Cape Buffalo, Leopard, and Elephant.) You will love the Private Game Reserve, which offers the best opportunities to see wild animals – and without the traffic and congestion of the National Park. Dinner tonight at the lodge. (B, L, D)
Day 13: Kapama Private Game Reserve
Enjoy an early morning game drive in Kapama Game Reserve followed by breakfast. The knowledgeable drivers and nature guides are so friendly and helpful, and the surroundings are so beautiful, it is easy to see why this private game reserve is the highlight of the tour. The balance of the day is yours to enjoy. Relax at the pool or enjoy the luxurious amenities of this five-star lodge. In the late afternoon, accompanied by highly skilled game rangers, adventure out on another game drive in search of the BIG FIVE. This is a great opportunity to take photos of Africa’s incredible wildlife in their natural environment. (B, D)
Day 14: Kapama Private Game Reserve / Johannesburg / Depart to USA
This morning is your last chance to encounter Africa’s majestic inhabitants in the wilderness. The early morning game drive, followed by breakfast, concludes your once-in-a-lifetime African adventure. Bid farewell and freshen up for your flight to Johannesburg in time to catch your return flight. If you have opted to join the Victoria Falls extension, you will fly to Johannesburg with the group and spend the night before catching your morning flight from Johannesburg to Victoria Falls. (B, In-flight meal service)
Day 15: Depart to USA
Arrive in Atlanta early this morning. You will have ample time to connect with your domestic flight home. (In-flight meal service)
Rupiper Tours reserves the right to make minor adjustments to the itinerary if necessary.
Victoria Falls Extension Tour
Day 15: Johannesburg / Zimbabwe
Upon arriving at 1:05PM, we are transferred to the fantastic Ilala Lodge. After check in, you’ll have time to grab a quick snack and relax or take a little dip in the pool before your mid-day departure to the river for an afternoon of fun on the Sundowner Cruise. A “Sundowner” is the local term for a cocktail enjoyed during the sunset. Sit back and relax, take in the great sights of the Zambezi River. Enjoy alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, as they are included on the cruise and at the lodge. After sightseeing, you are served dinner and drinks while on board. (B, D)
Day 16: Victoria Falls
This morning is your opportunity to see one of the biggest and best waterfalls in the world. Victoria Falls is viewed as the most spectacular and widely regarded as the largest waterfall in the world. See why the locals call it “Mosi-O-Tunya’ or “the smoke that thunders.” The mist from the waterfalls, which can rise up to 1,300 feet high, looks like smoke from the distance. Spend the morning observing the falls from many angles. This afternoon is free for you to go on a final Game Drive or take a helicopter over the Falls. (B, L, D)
Day 17: Depart Victoria Falls
After breakfast, depart Victoria Falls to Johannesburg for your flight back to the United States. (B, In-flight meal service)
Day 18: Arrive USA
Morning arrival in Atlanta to connect to your flight home.
Rupiper Tours reserves the right to make minor adjustments to the itinerary if necessary.
International roundtrip airfare • South African domestic airfare
4 & 5 Star Hotel accommodations • Luggage handling
Meals as indicated: B (Breakfast) L (Lunch) D (Dinner)
Luxury motor coach • English speaking tour director & guides
Admission for tours listed • Special events detailed in itinerary
Special Events and Sights
Six incredible Wildlife Safari Game Drives
Kruger National Park • Kapama Private Game Reserve
Diamond Mine • Scenic Garden Route • Cape of Good Hope
Vineyard lunch & wine tasting • Ostrich Farm • Cape Town
Lesedi Cultural Village • Johannesburg • Knysna Village
Beautiful South African Countryside • Cape Point
Tsitsikama National Park • Klein Karoo (farming region)
Meeting of the Oceans • Large Scale Corn Farm
God’s Window • Blyde River Canyon • Table Mountain
Wheat, Corn & Sheep Farm • Rural Home • Boulders Beach
“Boma” Traditional Outdoor Dinner • Cattle Farm & Feedlot
Cape of Good Hope • Drakensburg Mountains
Bourke’s Luck Potholes • Pretoria Penguin Colony
South Africa Traveler Testimonials
"Excellent! Tour manager worked to meet individual needs and was very patient. The guide was very, very knowledgeable and went above and beyond! Excellent food & accommodations all the way. Highly Recommend."
- Paula F. (North Dakota)
"I love traveling with you! You tell us what we need to know and you don't overload us with info. Always friendly, always helpful - I never feel I can't ask for help! The safaris and Victoria Falls were amazing. I tell everyone about your wonderful trips. The all-inclusive pricing & the activities with no wasted days are just what I want."
- Linda C. (South Dakota)
"The guide was excellent in all aspects. She was fun, got to know everyone on a personal basis and had knowledge of sites visited. I greatly enjoyed the lodge at Victoria Falls. The tour exceeded my expectations. The tour manager was exceptional. The group was easy to get to know. The food was exceptional as were the accommodations. Easily give them two thumbs up!"
- Earl B. (Minnesota)
“Our recent tour to South Africa was the favorite of all our travels! What a beautiful country and the animals were amazing. Thank you so much for such a well thought out experience. In particular we want to thank Brent for his advice and comfort when it looked as if we were going to miss the international flight. Our domestic flights were very late and my blood pressure was a little high. He reassured us of a backup plan if necessary, but we ended up making the flight by thirty minutes. Our guide was outstanding. She is very knowledgeable about the history of the country and can talk easily about it“
- Judy & Ted R. (New Mexico)
“Excellent! I was very impressed with your South Africa tour.”
- Leslie D. (Arizona)
“The guide was exceptional – unlimited knowledge, accessible to us and our questions. Best tour guide we have ever had!!Motor coach driver was very helpful. He marked our map for us. 5-star properties!”
- Dave & Sylvia H. (Minnesota)
“I liked it the way it was – all very good. Rupiper always does excellent tours!”
- Jim K. (Nebraska)
“The tour guide is very knowledgeable, kind, patient, and interesting. We would love touring with her again. Our favorite sites visited were the private game reserve and Victoria Falls.”
- Russ & Terri P. (Texas)
“It was a great trip! Can’t think of anything we would do differently.”
- Mitch C. (Wisconsin)
“We were impressed with our tour. We would highly recommend it to our friends.”
- Marty & Marsha P. (Missouri)
“It was all good and timing was good. We enjoyed it all very much.”
- Billy & Edna E. (Texas)
"Adele was fantastic! Very knowledgeable and friendly and fun.The drivers were great and we loved the farms and wildlife preserve."
- Jan F. (Missouri)
"There was not a bad hotel on the trip, but some of them were absolutely wonderful! We just love the country side and scenery, but Cape Town & George area were amazing. It was all new to us - loved the diversity of country and city, mountains and oceans, game parks and animals. We loved it all! The guide was wonderful and patient - she went above and beyond being helpful - loves and knows about her country."
- Sue W. (Nebraska)
"Had thoughts about going to South Africa but wasn't at the top of our list. Just needed a nudge from a friend who was traveling with you. Since we had traveled with you to China and Brazil, we knew it would be "top shelf" all the way, and it definitely was a fabulous trip. Wouldn't know what to change - loved the entire experience. Time goes too fast when you are with fun people, beautiful scenery, sat on an ostrich - just a great trip."
- Jerry & Dorothy J. (Minnesota)
"We thought it was a fantastic trip. It met all of our expectations - everything was great. We hope to go again. We had a great group of people on the trip and met some real nice friends. We wouldn't change a thing."
- Marvin & Margaret P. (Iowa)
"Had a ball. Guide was outstanding. My favorite sights were the safari's and Victoria Falls."
- O.B. F. (Oklahoma)
"This was an awesome trip!! We loved the guide!! She was very knowledgeable, fun to be around, and put up with us! Would love to travel with her again. Well planned trip - loved staying in Oudsthoorn. Wish I would have bought more diamonds, but my husband is happy!!"
- Kathy P. (New York)
"I felt very comfortable riding with the motor coach drivers. They drove sensibly and were very cautious in the cities. The guide was wonderful, so attentive to every person's needs, was a great communicator, and very knowledgeable. We loved the farm visits and the private game lodge. I have recommended Rupiper Tours to others and will continue to do so."
- Phyllis B. (Minnesota)
"The guide was one in a million - best guide we have ever had on any tour. Explained history and life in South Africa. Very knowledgeable and spoke very clearly - made us feel like family. This tour was exceptional - Great memories.
- Wayne & Susan S. (Oregon)
"Brent was the BEST!!! I loved the whole trip! Wouldn't change anything."
- Tammy & Steve W. (South Dakota)
"We loved it. Your office was friendly and made us comfortable in our decision to travel with Rupiper. We were more than satisfied with the guide - very knowledgeable. I rate this tour 5 out of 5!
- Nancy & Dick J. (Illinois)
"I would highly recommend Rupiper Tours to anyone. Any questions were answered promptly. The guide went above and beyond."
- Carol S. (Minnesota)
"This was a trip my husband wanted to take for years. We talked to a couple who had taken this trip and said we would enjoy it. People can't believe how close one gets to the animals. Seeing Cape Town, penguin colony, and some farming makes this a wonderful trip. Thanks for making my husband's dream come true! We enjoy traveling with Brent, this was our second tour. He does a good job being sociable with everyone on the tour and very helpful with questions. The tour guide was the best we ever had on a trip."
- David & Audrey S. (Illinois)
"Loved my first experience out of the country. Will definitely check out your other destinations when I'm ready for another adventure. The guide was great! Lots of knowledge and very accommodating."
- Mary K. (Minnesota)
"This was a lifelong dream - We enjoyed it thoroughly - met lots of nice people - our 50th anniversary gift to ourselves! The guide went above and beyond to get hearing aid batteries for us. We loved the Game Reserves and the farms."
- Bill & Sue B. (Illinois)
"Our tour guide was great and I would recommend her to anyone going to South Africa. She knew the answer to nearly every question, and if she didn't know right away, she would look it up and get back to us. The tour was great. I thought it was going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but now I think I will return someday."
- Gordon F. (Utah)
"The tour company is very good at helping you get everything scheduled. I enjoyed the tour very much, with a good variety of different stops. The accommodations and food were very good, and the rooms were excellent."
- Richard B. (Nebraska)
"This was my first time with Rupiper Tours. I enjoyed every part. Our guide was awesome. She was obviously passionate and extremely knowledgeable about South Africa. She made sure we had a great time and had a great sense of humor. It was a great trip and hope I have the opportunity to go on future tours."
- Boone & Blythe M. (Nebraska)
"We loved the trip. I am not an animal person, but love scenery and places to visit, but I came home thrilled to see the animals in the wild on the fun safaris."
“We want to comment on the South Africa trip we recently enjoyed with your travel company. Our guide was exceptional, she met all of our needs, was very knowledgeable, humorous, accommodating and a pleasure to have as a guide. She always kept things in control. This trip went above our expectations and we thank you for putting together a memorable experience for us. The safaris were excellent and we learned so much about South Africa.”
- Roger & Carolyn D. (Colorado)
“Thrilled to death with the trip! I would go again in a heartbeat. Our guide was fabulous!”
- Karen S. (Illinois)
"The tour guide was excellent. She was knowledgeable. If she didn't know the answer to a question, she found out. She made sure we were taken care of. Bus drivers knew the routes and were very courteous"
- Tom & Peg K. (Wisconsin)
“Larry, We know it's late, but wanted you to know how much we loved our guide on our South Africa trip last March. She was superb! So knowledgeable & organized. She looked after all of us like a Mother hen. We enjoyed her so very much. It was a great trip in every way. The group we went with still keep in touch with us. We would recommend this trip to anyone. Hope to travel with you again soon.”
- Sally & Don A. (Ohio)
“Traveling to South Africa with Rupiper Tours was a great and memorable travel experience. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and shared so much extra information about the areas we visited. I especially had fun visiting the Ostrich farm, traveling along the beautiful coast and visiting Cape Town. Of course, the best part was to see all the animals in Kruger National Park!”
- Brenda D. (South Dakota)
“Our South African trip was very enjoyable. Our South African guide was the greatest. She not only handled all the luggage, hotel room keys, making sure our luggage was on board each day, checking to see if everyone handed in their room keys, but was very knowledgeable about her country. This is one of the greatest trips we have taken.”
- Jim & Carol S. (Wisconsin)
“Our trip to South Africa last fall was a wonderful trip. Larry did and always does a great job planning and directing the tours so there are no worries. The tour booklets they gave us were so nice as it explained each day’s events. We loved the morning and evening safaris. The elephant safari was so much fun. We would highly recommend any tours with Rupiper Tours.”
- Ken & Dorothy B. (South Dakota)
“What a wonderful time we had on our South Africa trip and you were right about the guide… she was awesome. I have so many good photos and many shared laughs. You all are at the top of our list.”
- Dennis & Clare (Minnesota)