Big 5 and Marine Big 5 Safari
The Big 5 and Marine Big 5 Safari journey kicks off in the world-renowned Sabi Sand Game Reserve (famous for its incredible Big 5 sightings), at &Beyond Kirkman’s Kamp, where you will embark on twice-daily game drives and interpretive nature walks. Afterwards, journey to South Africa’s Mother City of Cape Town for a wonderful exploration of Table Mountain and the Cape Peninsula before venturing to the Cape Whale Coast region, the world’s best destination to view the antics of whales. Here, you will have the opportunity to stay in the tranquil surrounds of the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, which offers a plethora of adventures.
Start your journey in the Cape Whale Coast region with an exceptional wine tasting tour of the Hemel-en-Aarde (Heaven on Earth) Wine Route. Next, encounter the Marine Big 5 on a sensational whale watching trip, followed by an action-packed shark cage diving excursion. In between your ocean adventures you will also have the opportunity to explore your surrounds with various activities such as nature drives, horse riding, hiking, beach trips, cave explorations and quad biking.
Day 1 - Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Today, you will board a flight from OR Tambo International Airport to Skukuza Airport. On arrival at Skukuza Airport, you will be met by a member of our &Beyond team and driven to &Beyond Kirkman’s Kamp.
More than 65 000 hectares make up the Sabi Sand Game Reserve which borders the Kruger National Park. Made up of a number of private game lodges – each one differing in atmosphere – a visit to the area guarantees a never-to-be-forgotten experience of the African Bush. With no fences between the farms (or for that matter between them and the Kruger Park), animals wander across vast stretches of grazing land as they did years and years ago. With one of the richest game populations in the country, the chances of seeing the Big 5 (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino) are excellent. The Reserve is also home to a host of other animals – but be warned: chances are, one visit to the area, will probably lead to many more!
Spend three nights at &Beyond Kirkman’s Kamp on Sabi Sand Game Reserve in a suite with ensuite bathroom. Your stay includes three meals daily, soft drinks, house wines, soft drinks, local brand spirits and beers, teas and coffee, scheduled safari activities, refreshments on game drives, nature walks (one hour) accompanied by experienced, armed trackers, and laundry. A wide range of fascinating children’s activities is offered at Kirkman’s Kamp.
With its lush spreading lawns and down-to-earth grace, this camp is the ideal destination for a Big 5 safari in South Africa.
Days 2 & 3 - Sabi Sand Game Reserve
- Explore the magnificent wilderness on twice-daily game drives in search of the Big Five, as well as a host of other fascinating creatures. The Sabi Sand is particularly well known for sightings of the normally elusive leopard, so make sure to keep an eye out for this graceful and elegant cat. The early morning game drives leave shortly after dawn, with the mysteries of the bush lying open before you. Your experienced ranger and tracker team will discuss what you hope to see prior to the drive and will do their best to find all your favourite animals for you.
- After breakfast there is the option to set off on a bush walk and explore the finer details of your surroundings, from animal tracks to plants, insects and birds. Alternatively, you can just sit back and enjoy the historic atmosphere of authentic 1920s homestead
- Another game drive sets off in the late afternoon, continuing after dark in search of the nocturnal habits of Africa’s predators.
Day 4 - Cape Town
After your morning game drive and breakfast you will be transferred to Skukuza Airport for your scheduled domestic flight to Cape Town International Airport. On arrival at Cape Town International Airport, you will be transferred to The Twelve Apostles.
With Table Mountain – one of the most spiritual places on earth – at its heart and two oceans at its feet, the city of Cape Town, strategically situated at the south-western tip of Africa, has been famed for centuries as the Tavern of the Seas. Vibrant, cosmopolitan and an eclectic mix of old and new, this laid-back city is as much at home with its 17th century castle – whose cannons have never been fired in anger – as it is with its sleek skyscrapers and trendy malls. Home to South Africa’s first Mosque, oldest wine farm, a 350 year-old garden and timelessly beautiful beaches, it’s no surprise the legendary Flying Dutchman and his spectral ship have spent eternity sailing the city’s shores.
Spend four nights at The Twelve Apostle in a luxury room with ensuite bathroom. Your stay includes breakfast.
Days 5 & 6 - Cape Town
Explore the scenic beauty and varied attractions of Cape Town with your choice of exciting activities.
- Set out on a ferry ride to Robben Island, best known as the site of a jailhouse for political prisoners, including former South African president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela. Your tour of the island is guided by a former political inmate, which means you will hear first-hand tales of its story of hope and hardship.
- Indulge in a full day in the spectacular Cape Winelands, beginning with your first wine tasting on the way to Franschhoek, home to award-winning wine estates and known as South Africa’s gourmet capital. Drive past the Groot Drakenstein Prison, where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated before his release and where he took his first steps as a free man. Visit the village of Franschhoek and see the Huguenot monument. Enjoy wine tasting in and around Franschhoek before stopping in the village for lunch. Continue your journey through the panoramic landscapes of the Helshoogte Mountain Pass, stopping for a third wine tasting in the area, time permitting. Your adventure ends with a leisurely stroll along the oak-lined streets of the university town of Stellenbosch, well known for its traditional Cape Dutch architecture
- Drive to the Cape’s scenic Atlantic seaboard, through the beautiful suburbs of Camps Bay and Hout Bay to the popular Chapman’s Peak. After snapping some glorious ocean photographs, you will continue to Kalk Bay for a delectable seafood lunch before cruising through the Constantia Winelands and heading back to the city. Depending on time availability, we can arrange a sensational wine tasting at one of the estates in Constantia
Day 7 - Cape Town
Today, you will have the opportunity to explore the scenic city of Cape Town, beginning with a ride on the revolving cable car up to the top of iconic Table Mountain. The spectacular views over the city and the entire Cape Peninsula are utterly spectacular. If the weather is not favourable, you will have the opportunity to explore the nearby peak of renowned Signal Hill.
Day 8 - Cape Whale Coast
After breakfast a private vehicle will collect you for a scenic drive to the Cape Whale Coast region of South Africa, where you will spend three nights at in the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to enjoy an off-the-beaten track wine tasting experience, as you discover various boutique wineries scattered along the beautiful Hemel-en-Aarde (Heaven on Earth) Wine Route, in the Cape Whale Coast region. The route offers a wonderful alternative to exploring South Africa’s first-class wines, away from the hustle and bustle of the main wine routes of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. Surrounded by towering mountains that stand vigil over a tranquil landscape, this must-visit destination produces some of South Africa’s best bottles of chardonnay and pinot noir.
The area known as the Cape Whale Coast stretches along the southern coastline of South Africa’s Western Cape Province from the coastal hamlet of Rooi-Els, west of Cape Town, to Quoin Point near Cape Agulhas. Made up of a series of spectacular bays, coves and river mouths and hemmed in by soaring mountains and valleys, it is known as one of the best places in the world for whale watching. Almost 40 species of whales and dolphins are attracted to the rich marine environment created by the meeting of the cold Benguela and warm Agulhas currents, while Southern right, Bryde’s and humpback whales mate and calve in the area between June and November each year. While whale watching is definitely the main attraction, there is no shortage of other adventures in the area, from shark cage diving with great whites to hiking through mountains covered with the region’s distinctive fynbos vegetation and horse riding on sandy beaches. The region’s main towns include Kleinmond, Hermanus, Stanford and Gansbaai.
Flanked by the spectacular cliffs of Walker Bay, is the beautiful Grootbos Private Nature Reserve. Large, private cottages include spacious bedrooms, lovely ensuite bathrooms, air-conditioning and secluded balconies from where guests can admire the breath-taking sunsets over the Atlantic Ocean. Guests can savour hearty breakfast and lavish four-course dinners in the superb restaurant boasting sweeping views of the picturesque surroundings — the passionate chefs work their magic in transforming freshly-caught fish, succulent meats and organic produce into delectable culinary creations, perfectly complemented by award-winning Cape wines. At the end of the day, guests can head to the bar for refreshing cocktails, whilst drinking in the sweeping views from Walker Bay to Cape Point, or retreat to the cosy sitting room for a comfortable spot around the open fireplace on chilly evenings.
Spend three nights at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve in a Forest Lodge, one-bedroom Luxury Suite. Your stay includes accommodation, welcome drink served upon arrival, fresh fruit daily in-suite, breakfast buffet, light lunch, 5-course dinner, horse riding, guided walks including fynbos nature tours and milkwood walks, nature, marine, coastal drives and walks including the Walker Bay Nature Reserve, De Kelders cliff walk Klipgat Cave combined with seasonal land-based whale watching (whale watching especially during June – December), bird-watching, various maps of the reserve and the area for self-guided walks and transfers to/from all activities.
Day 9 - Cape Whale Coast
After breakfast you will be collected for an unforgettable whale watching excursion. Whales won’t be the only things you’ll see on this exceptional 2½ hour adventure. Your boat will launch in the quaint harbour of Kleinbaai, in Gansbaai, and will make its way toward the Pearly Beach area — which is home to the southern right whale. Afterwards, you will venture towards renowned Dyer Island for excellent penguin and seabird viewing, and then to Geyser Rock to view the curious antics of Cape fur seals. Between these two islands is the notorious “shark alley” where you may be fortunate enough to view the spectacular reat white shark
After your whale watching excursion, you will have the option to spend the rest of your day exploring your surrounds with a choice of additional adventures such as horse riding in the Grootbos Reserve, embarking on a tranquil 4x4 flower safari to discover over 765 flower species within the reserve, enjoying a quad bike trip along scenic trails, hiking or venturing to an ancient cave along the rocky shores of De Kelders.
Day 10 - Cape Whale Coast
Today you will be collected for a truly memorable and action-packed shark cage diving excursion. This adventure is ideal for thrill-seekers and nature enthusiasts alike. You can experience the excitement of being face-to-face with a shark, inside the protection of a submerged cage. Your day begins early in the quaint coastal village of Gaansbaai, at the Great White House, where you can top up your energy levels, with a delicious breakfast, for the day’s adventure. Safety is paramount. Guests will sit down to a brief introductory talk with a marine biologist, before being fitted with life-jackets. Snacks, soft drinks, wet suits and waterproof jackets are included.
After your adrenaline-pumping shark cage dive, you will have the option to spend the rest of your day exploring your surrounds with a choice of additional adventures such as horse riding in the Grootbos Reserve, embarking on a tranquil 4x4 flower safari to discover over 765 flower species within the reserve, enjoying a quad bike trip along scenic trails, hiking or venturing to an ancient cave along the rocky shores of De Kelders.
Day 11 - Departure
After tucking into a wholesome breakfast you will be collected for your flight back to Cape Town International Airport, for your onward journey.
Big 5 and Marine Big 5 Safari Fast Facts
- Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, world famous for its intimate leopard sightings
- Set off on a Big Five safari experience
- Marvel at the Marine Big 5, which consists of whales, sharks, seals, penguins and dolphins, on an incredible whale watching trip in the Cape Whale Coast region.
- Experience an adrenaline rush on a shark cage dive excursion
- Explore the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town and its famed attractions such as Table Mountain, the Cape Peninsula and Boulders Beach, renowned for its flourishing penguin colony.
- Visit the oldest wine farm in South Africa at Groot Constantia
Contact the Luxury Safari Club for more information or to book the Big 5 and Marine Big 5 Safari.