• South Africa:

    A Culture, History & Safari Adventure

    7-Day Trip: October 18 - 24, 2017 | 10-Day Trip: October 14 - 24, 2017 

    7-Night Cape Town &

    Safari Package

    $4425 

     

    10-Night Cape Town &

    Safari Package

    $5665  

     

    Limited to 14 Travelers

    With two trip leaders accompanying you and a maximum group size of 14 travelers, you'll have your own personal concierges available at all times to take care of every detail – leaving you free to relax and enjoy the experience. Reserve your space today before it sells out!

    South Africa: Now More Affordable Than Ever

    Compared to Europe, South Africa is extremely affordable for Americans, with the dollar at a five-year strength against the rand. That means you can dine really well and do plenty of shopping on a modest budget. For example, $800 per person will easily cover your dining and fun money budget for all ten days, including the safari trip extension.

    Explore Cape Town's Rich History, Natural Beauty and Modern Culture

    Named Number One Food City in the World for 2016

    by Condé Nast’s Readers Choice Awards

    Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime visit to Cape Town, South Africa, often named one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and now one of the top culinary destinations on the globe.

    Experience the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve Adjacent Kruger National Park

    One of Africa’s Foremost Wildlife Safari Destinations

    Your visit to Cape Town is followed by a three-day stay in the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve which has an unfenced border with Kruger National Park. Each day we'll embark on game drives to see elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos, giraffes, zebras, hippos, hyenas and more. And we'll be staying in luxurious accommodations at one of Africa's top safari lodges.

    We’ll explore the natural beauty of Cape Town – a cable car ride up to the top of Table Mountain, a drive out to Cape Point where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet, a stroll through the penguin colony at Boulders Park, a walk in the magnificent Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, the lush city center Company’s Gardens bordered by the Houses of Parliament.

     

    And we’ll take a deep look at South Africa’s modern history – a boat trip out to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for so many years, a visit to the Slave Lodge to learn how slavery began in the Cape (and how it continues today around the world), and time with community leaders in the townships – a legacy of apartheid, but where much change is taking place.

    Perfect Time to Visit, Perfect Way to Travel

    Group Size Limited to 14 Travelers

    Since South Africa is below the equator, our trip takes place in springtime. In Cape Town, expect cool days with temperatures in the 60s and 70s, perfect for exploring the city. In the Sabi Sands, you'll enjoy summer-like temperatures in the 70s and 80s.

     

    This Wild Blue Yonder trip is especially designed for people who love their independence when traveling but also appreciate having someone else take care of all the trip planning.

    With two trip leaders accompanying you and a maximum group size of 14 travelers, you'll have your own personal concierges available at all times to take care of every detail – leaving you free to relax and enjoy the experience while making new friends.

    And there’s no single supplement for your accommodations in Cape Town.

    Unless you want to share a room, you need not.

    Centuries-Old City, Modern-Day Perspective

    You'll start your trip in Cape Town, a city with a centuries-old history, dating from the Dutch sailing ships in the 1600s. But South Africa is also a new country, its democracy and full rights for people of all races less than 25 years old. We’ve found South Africans extremely friendly and willing to talk openly with us about their family histories and experiences during and after apartheid.

    Every day you’ll go with our two Wild Blue Yonder trip leaders, as well as licensed driver/guides who can add dimension to what you’re experiencing, and answer questions about history, politics, architecture, environment and culture. Or, if you prefer to go off on your own, we can help you plan out a shopping adventure, a luxury spa visit or a day trip to a nearby attraction. The choice is yours.

     

    Each evening in Cape Town we’ll gather before dinner with a glass of wine to talk about our day and plan for tomorrow. Afterwards, we’ll break into small groups for dinner, depending on your tastes and budget, and experience some of Cape Town's top-rated restaurants. No one will ever dine alone – unless you’re looking for solitude. Evenings are free to explore Cape Town nightlife, where there’s something for everyone.

     

    3-Day Safari Adventure in Luxury

    Stay at One of Condé Nast Traveler's Top 10 Safari Lodges & Camps in Africa

    You'll finish your South African adventure with a three-day visit to Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve. You'll enjoy luxury accommodations at Kirkman's Kamp, named one of The Best Safari Lodges in Africa in the 2016 Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards.

    In the Heart of Sabi Sands Game Reserve

    African Wildlife Surrounds You

    This historic 1920s lodge has incredible views and is situated in the beautiful Sabi Sands Game Reserve, which means you'll definitely see spotted hyena, buffalos, white rhinos, elephants, various antelopes and even the elusive leopard, up close and personal.

    1920s Africa Feel With All the Modern Comforts

    World Class Luxury in the Heart of Safari Country

    Kirkman's Kamp guest cottages each have a private verandah which will give you the chance to enjoy the view in the privacy of your own space.

     

    To warm up and relax, there are fireplaces in every room as well as claw-foot bathtubs. To freshen up, comfortable stand-alone showers can also be found. Wi-fi is available for those who wish to stay connected.

    Kirkman's Kamp is a journey back in time, far away from all the modern time stress and noise. The main lodge features a large sitting room with a 1920s ambience, breakfast and lunch are served on shady verandahs and dinners enjoyed in a boma or candlelit bush setting.

    7-Night Cape Town &

    Safari Package

    $4425 

     

    10-Night Cape Town &

    Safari Package

    $5665  

    You can join us for either four or seven nights in Cape Town (your choice) followed by a three-night safari adventure. Travelers who buy the seven-night package will arrive in Cape Town on Thursday, October 18th.

    Cape Town Itinerary: October 14-21

    Please note that some changes may be made to the final itinerary due to weather, museum closings or other unforeseen events.

     

    Saturday, October 13

    Depart on your flight from home for your overnight flight to Cape Town.

     

    Sunday, October 14

    Arrive in late afternoon or evening at the SunSquare Hotel in the Gardens section of Cape Town. Our trip leaders will greet you and get you settled in.

    Monday, October 15

    We all get to sleep in this morning to rest up from the long flight to Cape Town. If you’re full of energy, you can walk three blocks from our hotel to visit the Jewish Museum to learn about the Jews who came early to this country, and to view a film featuring Nelson Mandela.

    1pm

    We’ll leave our hotel to walk through our quiet residential neighborhood to the Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town’s historic grand old hotel (Winston Churchill stayed there when he was a war correspondent on the Second Boer War.) There we’ll have a lavish high tea, with savory tea sandwiches and delicacies, scones with strawberry jam and cream, and an enormous buffet of desserts.

     

    Afterwards, we’ll walk over to Kloof Street, where there are many enticing restaurants and bars.

     

    6pm

    We meet for wine and munchies for our introduction to Cape Town.

     

    Tuesday, October 16

    9:30am

    Weather permitting, we begin the morning with a cable car ride to the top of Table Mountain, where we’ll have spectacular views of the city and the ocean. We’ll be on the lookout for “dassies,” too – rock hyrax, small furry animals that inhabit the stone crevices at the top of the mountain.

     

    Afterwards, we’ll visit the Company’s Gardens, home to South Africa’s Houses of Parliament, National Gallery of Art and the Slave Lodge, one of the oldest buildings in Cape Town. Similar to Washington, DC’s National Mall, only with trees, the gardens were established in 1652 to re-supply ships on the spice trade route around the Cape of Good Hope. The original flower and vegetable gardens have been re-created. We can enjoy lunch here in the Garden, or in nearby restaurants.

    After lunch, we’ll stroll over to Greenmarket Square, a vibrant outdoor market that began as a slave market. It’s just the place to look for clothing, glassware, hand-painted fabrics, footwear, music, sunglasses and curios from all over Cape Town and Africa, and it’s all made even livelier by nearly constant street entertainers. Lots of coffee shops and small restaurants border the square too.

     

    You’ll have time afterwards to visit other museums nearby: the South African National Gallery, the natural history museum or the contemporary Jewish Museum.

     

    4:00pm

    We gather back at the entrance to the Company’s Gardens for a drive and brief stop at Bo Kaap, an area exclusively for coloured Muslims during the Colonial and Apartheid times. Today, this group still makes up the majority of residents. The section is most notable for the brilliant palette of colors the houses are painted.

     

    6pm

    We meet at the hotel for wine and conversation before dinner.

    Wednesday, October 17

    9am

    We’ll spend today enjoying the natural beauty surrounding Cape Town. We begin with a dramatic drive over Chapman’s Peak high above the ocean shoreline. We spend some time in the Cape Floral Region, a World Heritage Site, and the most southerly point within the Good Hope section of Table Mountain National Park. It is one of the richest areas for plants in the world - and home to nearly 20% of Africa’s flora. We often see ostrich and Chacma baboons along the road.

     

    It’s then on to the craggy cliffs, rocky escarpments and fynbos-rich slopes of the narrow finger of land known as Cape Point, where we’ll take the funicular up to the top for spectacular views.

     

    After lunch (included today), we’ll stop to visit the African penguin breeding colony at Boulders Beach, where we can watch penguins frolic in the waves.

     

    On the way home, we’ll stop to stroll around Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, spectacularly set against Table Mountain as a backdrop. Called the most beautiful garden in Africa, it has over 7000 species of plants and numerous birds. Don’t miss the Tree Canopy Walkway.

     

    6pm

    We meet at the hotel for wine and conversation before dinner.

    Thursday, October 18 - First Night of the 7-Night Package

    Travelers who choose the seven-night package will arrive in late afternoon or evening at the SunSquare Hotel in the Gardens section of Cape Town. Our trip leaders will greet you and get you settled in.

     

    8:15am

    We drive to the Victoria & Albert Waterfront to board our boat to Robben Island at 9am. (There are special exhibits on Nelson Mandela and apartheid where we catch the boat.) It’s about a 45-minute ride out to Robben Island, the infamous bleak political prison where Nelson Mandela spent 17 years. Tours of the prison are led by ex-political prisoners themselves, so you’ll hear about their own personal experiences, as well as the history of Robben Island and, of course, you’ll visit Mandela’s actual cell.

     

    1pm

    Board the boat for the return to the Waterfront. You’ll have the rest of the afternoon free for a late lunch at the waterfront, plus time to shop at the Watershed, a collection of exquisite ceramics, furniture, textiles, fashion and jewelry. You can Uber or taxi back to the hotel on your own.

     

    6:30pm

    We meet at the hotel for wine and conversation before dinner.

     

    Friday, October 19

    9:00am

    We depart with Uthando, an organization which serves a wide range of highly effective community projects in the townships of Cape Town. We’ll visit projects in the Guguletu and Kayelitsha townships, meeting the people who run them and those they serve. We’ll have

    a unique and authentic introduction to the social problems confronting so many millions of South Africans, while also seeing the innovative and inspirational ways in which they are being handled by these marginalized and destitute communities. Very importantly, the projects are not treated as tourist attractions. The tours are designed in such a way as to educate, inform and inspire while also respecting the dignity and privacy of the people concerned. The projects are, after all, places where people live, work and in many cases, just survive.

     

    Back in Cape Town, we’ll travel on to the District Six Museum. District Six was a section of Cape Town in which people of various races and religions lived together harmoniously until the government evicted, first, the blacks, and later, all 60,000 people who lived there. Almost all of the housing, shops, churches and community locations were razed in the name of “development.” This very moving museum witnesses to the effects of the dislocation on the individuals in the community.

     

    6pm

    We meet at the hotel for wine, book talk and conversation before dinner.

    Saturday, October 20

    8:45am

    We depart for our day in the Winelands. We’ll begin in the charming town of Stellenbosch with a visit to the Village Museum, a collection of four historic houses of different periods. You’ll have time afterwards to stroll through the shops and galleries of Stellenbosch before we leave for our wine tasting.

    We’ll have an introduction to South African wines and chocolates at one of South Africa’s many wineries before we drive to Franschhoek for lunch (included) in the shaded garden of restaurant Bread and Wines located on the Môreson wine estate. The landscape throughout the winelands is stunning, with vineyards, fruit orchards and olive trees framed by the low mountains behind them.

     

    We’ll have time to see the town itself and then a stop to see the gates of the Drakenstein Correctional Center, the prison out of which Nelson Mandela finally walked to freedom.

    Sunday, October 21

    Today we'll travel to Kirkman’s Kamp in the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve.

    Safari Adventure: October 21-24

    On Sunday we’ll take an early flight out of Cape Town to Skukuza Airport located in Kruger National Park. A short drive will take us to the safari lodge. There we’ll stay in elegant 1920’s-style bungalows scattered through the property.

    Kirkman’s Kamp is a colonial-style safari lodge set in 6,300 hectares of private concession in the southern Sabi Sand Reserve. Located high on a ridge, this historic 1920’s homestead is surrounded by manicured lawns and overlooks the pristine bushveld and the Sand River.

     

    The luxuriously appointed cottages have private verandas. The main lodge areas evoke an era long since past, featuring an elegant sitting room and extensive verandas where breakfast and lunch are served. Dinners are enjoyed outdoors in the romantic boma or a candlelit bush setting.

    We’ll have morning and late afternoon game drives every day, plus, if you like, guided bush walks and optional in-room massages. Perhaps cool off in the swimming pool, or browse in the safari shop.

     

    Included: All meals, local brand drinks, scheduled safari activities, wifi, one hour nature walk accompanied by experienced armed trackers (subject to availability), transfers to and from the lodge airstrip, complimentary transfers to and from Skukuza Airport and laundry. You'll only need to pay for alcoholic beverages and souvenirs.

    Typical Safari Schedule

    5:30am

    Wake up knock on your door.

     

    6am

    Enjoy coffee or tea and grab a muffin, and we’re off on our morning game drive in open vehicles.

     

    9am

    Breakfast back at the camp. Then you have leisure time to relax till your next meal.

     

    1pm

    Lunch

     

    3:30pm

    Afternoon tea

    4pm

    We climb into our vehicles with our guide and tracker for the afternoon game drive.

     

    7:45pm

    Return from the game drive to rest or shower.

     

    8:30pm

    Dinner with your guide.

     

    Monday and Tuesday, October 22 and 23

    The same itinerary continues. You’ll have a total of six game drives on your stay.

    Costs & What's Included

    Price

    The 7-Night Cape Town & Safari Package price is $4425 per person

     

     

    The 10-Night Cape Town & Safari Package price is $5665 per person

     

    For the Cape Town accommodations, there is no additional single supplement cost if you'd like your own room. Please note that the safari lodge has a limited number of rooms, and almost all lodges are designed for shared rooms. If you're traveling by yourself we’ll assign you a roommate, or you may choose a roommate while we’re in Cape Town.

     

    You’ll find that, due to the exchange rate of the rand to the dollar, things are very inexpensive once you arrive in South Africa. Most dinners in Cape Town, for instance, cost under $30, including wine and dessert, and many places charge much less than that.

     

     

    What’s Included:

    7-Night Package

    - 4 nights in Cape Town at the SunSquare Hotel, with breakfast

    - Single rooms for those traveling on their own

    - Free hotel wifi

    - The services of two trip leaders so that we can break into smaller groups each day

    - Driver/guides each day to take us on the day’s events

    - Tips for our driver/guides in Cape Town

    - Admission to all museums and other venues described in the itinerary as group activities

    - Wine and chocolate tasting in Stellenbosch

    - Three-course lunch at Bread and Wine in Franschhoek

    - Evening wine and munchies before dinner each day

    - Transport to and from Kingman's Kamp lodge to the local airport

    - 3 nights stay in a beautiful bungalow room

    - 6 game drives

    - All meals at Kingman's Kamp: breakfast, lunch and dinner

    - Free wifi in the public areas

    - Laundry services if needed

     

    10-Night Package

    - 7 nights in Cape Town at the SunSquare Hotel, with breakfast

    - Single rooms for those traveling on their own

    - Free hotel wifi

    - High tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel

    - The services of two trip leaders so that we can break into smaller groups each day

    - Driver/guides each day to take us on the day’s events

    - Tips for our driver/guides in Cape Town

    - Admission to all museums and other venues described in the itinerary as group activities

    - Wine and chocolate tasting in Stellenbosch

    - Three-course lunch at Bread and Wine in Franschhoek

    - Lunch on our Cape Point day

    - Evening wine and munchies before dinner each day

    - Transport to and from Kingman's Kamp lodge to the local airport

    - 3 nights stay in a beautiful bungalow room

    - 6 game drives

    - All meals at Kingman's Kamp: breakfast, lunch and dinner

    - Free wifi in the public areas

    - Laundry services if needed

    Reserve Your Space Today

    Click here to register and reserve your spot - trip limited to 14 travelers

    A deposit of 25% will hold your space (be sure to read the Frequently Asked Questions and Terms & Conditions before you register for the trip). If you plan to continue on to Kirkman’s Kamp, you’ll need to reserve that space immediately as well.

     

    You may pay the deposit and final amount by check or, if you prefer to use a credit card, via Paypal, with a 3% surcharge.

     

    Checks should be made out to Wild Blue Yonder and mailed to Sheila Campbell, 1001 Spring Street, #623, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

     

    For more information, contact your trip leaders:

     

    Sheila Campbell

    scampbell@wildblueyonder.biz, 301 587-4555

     

    Gary Duke

    gduke@wildblueyonder.biz, 202 746-6055

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q. Who should come on this trip?

    Our trips are the perfect trips to take by yourself; you’ll make new friends and will always have people to do things with if you like. Or come with a friend, spouse or partner. You can spend time with each other and also have time to pursue your separate interests.

     

    Q. Do I have to pay a single supplement?

    The Cape Town trip is priced based on each person having his or her own hotel room. However, for the three nights at the Kirkman’s Kamp, we are asking people to share a room. The number of rooms is limited, and the rooms are very spacious for two people.

     

    Q. I’m coming with a spouse or partner and we want to share a room. Do we both have to pay the full rate?

    For people who share a room in Cape Town, we offer a discount of $150 each. We’ve priced the trip primarily for people to have their own rooms, but of course you can share a room if you prefer.

     

    Q. How many people will be on the trip?

    The maximum number of travelers is 14, so you won’t feel like you’re part of a huge group.

     

    Q. When is the trip?

    The 10-day trip package begins on Sunday, October 14, and ends on Wednesday, October 24. Your flights to Cape Town will be long (fair warning!) and overnight. You’ll fly out from your home city on Saturday to arrive Sunday in Cape Town.

     

    The 7-day trip package begins on Thursday, October 18th in Cape Town and ends on Wednesday, October 24.

     

    Q. Tell me about the trip leaders.

    Sheila Campbell of Wild Blue Yonder has been organizing informal groups of travelers for years – often on hiking trips in France, England, Italy and Spain. She now designs and runs trips for both Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, DC and the Strand in New York City.

    In her day-to-day work, she’s a group retreat leader who understands how to ensure everyone is involved and having a memorable experience. She lives in Washington, DC, where she was a docent at the National Gallery of Art for many years – but she spends many months a year exploring the world and scouting out new places to visit.

     

    Gary Duke is Sheila's business partner in Wild Blue Yonder and an avid world traveler himself, with 20+ countries under his belt. Gary is a natural at leading groups, whether its in his day job as a leadership trainer and coach for global companies or when he's hosting a dinner party for friends. And he's a pro at managing details and anticipating your every need while on the trip.

     

    Q. When do I need to sign up by?

    Because spaces are limited, you’ll need to register and pay your deposit as early as you can. This is particularly true if you plan to continue on to Kirkman’s Kamp, as there’s a limited number of rooms there.

     

    Q. What’s the food like?

    While there are a few local specialties that we’ll recommend you try (bobotie, for instance, a spicy meat dish, or malva pudding and koeksisters sweets), most of the food will be quite familiar to you. It’s pretty much what we eat in the States.

     

    In Cape Town, you can find very fresh fish, chicken, beef and so on. Restaurants often offer vegetarian entrees, but gluten-free dishes are less common there.

     

    At dinner at Kirkman’s Kamp, there’s always a choice of a vegetarian entrée, and plenty of salads, fruits and vegetables at lunch. And luscious desserts.

     

    Q. Can we drink the water?

    Absolutely. It’s safe to drink tap water and eat fresh fruit and salad in Cape Town, just as you would at home. At Kirkman’s Kamp, you can use the tap for brushing your teeth, and they provide bottled water in your room.

     

    Q. Is it safe to travel to South Africa?

    As with all big cities, you should always take precautions not to leave bags open, flash a lot of money in crowded areas, or carry a purse loosely. You might want to keep a small amount of bills in your pockets for incidentals, so that you don’t have to always go fishing in your wallet. All major credit cards are accepted, but it’s best to not let the card out of your sight while the transaction is being processed.

     

    We suggest that you leave your passport, extra cash, credit cards and computer in the safe in your room each day.

     

    In general, you won’t want to do a lot of walking at night. But there are a lot of nice restaurants near the hotel that are easily and safely reached on foot.

     

    All that said, your trip leaders have been to Cape Town several times and walked all over the city without any problems. During the day you’ll always be escorted by our trip leaders or guides.

     

    As for health, there is no ebola in South Africa. (As a local person said to us, “Africa is a big continent. You’re actually closer to a case of ebola in Paris than you are in South Africa.”)

     

    Kirkman’s Kamp is quite safe; just look out for any antelope or warthogs grazing the grounds.

     

    Q. Do we have to buy travel insurance?

    Yes, we strongly recommend that you buy both medical evacuation insurance and trip cancellation insurance. Please read our Terms and Conditions carefully to see our cancellation policy. Be aware that trip insurance companies are very strict about what they will and won’t reimburse you for, so read their policies closely as well.

     

    Two well-regarded trip insurance companies are AIG TravelGuard and TravelEx. Generally you need to purchase the trip insurance at the time you pay your deposit.

     

    Q. Do I need a visa to travel to South Africa?

    Americans don’t need visas for South Africa, but your passport has to be valid for at least six months after the end of your trip, and there have to be at least two blank pages for passport control stamps.

     

    Q. How do I fly to South Africa?

    There are a number of flight options you can take. All the flights are long, but not uncomfortable. The flights on South African Air are fairly affordable. Some of the most preferred ways to get there are:

     

    - Fly South African Airways from Dulles to Cape Town. The flights leave in late afternoon and stop for about an hour (no change of planes) in either Accra or Dakar. You will have a change of planes in Johannesburg to continue to Cape Town, and you’ll arrive in Cape Town in the evening.

     

    - Fly on Delta or KLM via Amsterdam or Paris to Cape Town.

     

    - Fly on your preferred US carrier (or use your frequent flier miles) to London Heathrow. You’ll arrive in the early morning and have a very long layover until your flight to Johannesburg in the late afternoon, where you connect to Cape Town. If you take this option, we suggest you book a “day room” at a Heathrow Hotel for a nap and a shower – which would mean you would depart on Friday, not Saturday.

     

    If you’re continuing on to Kirkman’s Kamp, you can book your internal flights (we’ll let you know what to book) through South African Airways.

     

    Q. If I want to stay longer in South Africa, can you arrange that?

    Yes. Some people like to arrive a day or two early to get over jet lag, and we can certainly arrange that – or book you extra nights at the Cape Town hotel at the end of the trip. We can also arrange for you to spend extra nights at Kirkman’s Kamp (pending availability) if you like.

     

    If you’re interested in seeing other parts of South Africa, we work with a highly-regarded travel company there that can help you plan the rest of your trip. Just let us know and we’ll introduce you.

     

    About Cape Town

    Q. What is the Sun Square hotel in Cape Town like?

    The hotel is beautifully positioned near the base of Table Mountain, in a quiet residential neighborhood. It’s just three blocks to the historic Mount Nelson Hotel and the Company’s Gardens and many other museums and restaurants. It has lovely views of Table Mountain and Signal Hill.

     

    The hotel was recently renovated, with modern and comfortable air-conditioned rooms, including desks, televisions, etc., and chrome and tile bathrooms. An electronic safe, plenty of closet and storage space, and complimentary wi-fi are all included. All rooms have a hair dryer. There’s a large pool and a fitness room. A bountiful buffet breakfast is included for you every morning, with a wide array of cold and hot items, including made to order eggs. There’s a good restaurant as well, should you want dinner there in the evenings. We often linger in the bar area and outside veranda for a drink in the evenings.

     

    There’s a concierge at the hotel to help you with taxi arrangements or restaurant reservations. It’s usually best to make reservations, as the places are either small, very popular, or both!

     

    Q. How will we get around Cape Town?

    We’ll most often have driver/guides with small vans. There are some restaurants and places near the hotel that we can walk to. In the evenings or other free time, you can always take a cab. And Uber here is really efficient. Your US Uber app works the same in Cape Town, and most Uber rides around the city cost less than $2!) And as mentioned above, the concierge at the hotel will gladly call taxis for you and make dinner reservations.

     

    Q. How do I get from the airport to the hotel?

    We recommend an authorized taxi, which can be found at a booth inside the airport, right near the exit. The fare with tip should be about R300, or just under $20.

     

    Q. What clothes should I bring?

    For Cape Town, you will want your spring things. You can wear jeans if you like. You will need some layering things - sweaters, and a warm jacket, as the boat ride to and from Robben Island is windy and cool.

     

    As far as shoes, anything you would normally wear for walking on city streets will be appropriate in Cape Town.

     

    At the safari lodge, you’ll need your warm jacket in the early morning and evening portions of the game drives. Comfortable clothes are what’s important here; you don’t need to buy safari clothes. You will need a hat, because the sun can be very strong.

     

    Q. How much money will I need?

    The dollar is very strong against the rand, so you’ll find yourself constantly surprised at how little you’re spending. You may well pay cash at times when you might normally use a credit card. And many of your expenses are covered in the trip cost. We suggest you budget about R10,000 in cash (about $645 at this writing) for the whole trip.

     

    Happily there are many ATM locations around Cape Town. One very large bank with many locations is ABSA, which may have an agreement with your American bank to not charge an ATM fee. There are no ATMs at the safari lodge.

     

    Q. What about tipping?

    South Africa has a tipping culture, so you’ll need to carry around some small bills (R10 and R20 – about 65 cents and $1.30 respectively -- for occasional tipping when someone performs a service for you.

     

    Remember that the exchange rate is very good for the US dollar. At the hotel in Cape Town, consider R75 daily for the maid, and R10 for porters and bartenders. In restaurants, 10% is considered sufficient. If you use metered taxis, the fare is usually just rounded up to the nearest ten rand. If you use Uber, a tip is up to your discretion, but we generally tip because the fares are so low.

     

    Q. Will I need special electrical plug adaptors?

    Yes, South African outlets require an unusual 3 pin plug (very fat pins). Your hotel room will also have a few outlets that fit 2-prong European plugs. So you’ll need to bring along plug adaptors.

     

    All of your non-heat-generating appliances (cell phone, camera battery charger, computer, etc.) will run on South African current. Heating appliances like U.S. hair dryers and curling irons will burn up, so don’t bring them. Both our hotels have hair dryers, and you can buy an inexpensive curling iron, etc. at the shopping mall a block from our hotel.

     

     

    About Kirkman’s Kamp

    Q. What will it be like at the safari lodge?

    Once you get there, you can put your wallet away. Your stay includes all your food and beverages except for alcoholic drinks. That includes breakfast, lunch, and a special dinner with your jeep mates and your guide each evening. And lots of extra treats.

     

    Most of the rooms have views of the Sabi River. Your rooms are all en suite, with lovely bathrooms. Everything you need is there, including hair dryer, shampoo, soap, towels, and face cloths. There is free wi-fi, but don’t expect cell service. No televisions. We watch animals instead.

     

    There are many public areas at the lodge for socializing or relaxing. You’ll be going on two game drives each day. In between are meals and some down time for naps or relaxing by the pool.

     

    Q. How do we get to Kirkman’s Kamp from Cape Town?

    For those of you going on to the safari, we will provide guidance on what flights to take from Cape Town to the Hoedspruit airport, where you will be picked up by a driver, and on what flights to take from Hoedspruit to Johannesburg for flights back to the U.S.

     

    Q. Are there any vaccines or other medical precautions I should take?

    Neither Cape Town nor Kirkman’s Kamp require any, but if you’re going on the safari, it’s recommended that you take a malaria suppressant, which will require a prescription. Our safari lodge is adjacent to Kruger National Park, which is considered low risk by the CDC. The CDC has no travel notices for either ebola or the zika virus in South Africa. The CDC also suggests consulting your doctor regarding hepatitis A and typhoid vaccines.

     

    Q. What clothes should I bring for the safari?

    Lightweight pants and long sleeve shirts will protect you from the sun and mosquitoes. If you wear T-shirts, just remember you’ll want sunscreen and insect repellent. (There are also protective sprays available that you can spray on your clothes ahead of time.)

     

    Bring a hat for the game drives for protection from the sun, but be sure it fits well, as we’re driving in an open vehicle. It can be cool and/or windy on drives in early morning and late evening. You’ll want a jacket for those. (The lodge provides rain gear if needed.) After the second game drive of each day, you might want something a little less grubby for dinner. But everything is very informal.

     

    On safari, you’ll want shoes a bit more rugged than you might be wearing in Cape Town, for example, sneakers or hiking shoes. There’s a lot of sand on the camp trails, so sandals aren’t always practical.

     

    Later we’ll provide you with a more detailed packing list.

     

    Q. What about tipping on safari?

    Tipping on safari is quite different. All tips are done at the end, and include individual tips for your guide and your tracker, and a single tip to cover all staff. We will cover this in more detail in later communications for those of you going on to Kirkman’s Kamp, but generally this will amount to around $125 total.

     

    Q. How much money will I need on safari?

    Everything will be provided for you at the Kamp, so you will only need money when you check out to cover incidentals like alcoholic drinks and any gift store purchases, and the tipping mentioned above. Plus there’s about a $15 conservation fee per person.

     

    Terms & Conditions

    Please read the following Terms & Conditions carefully. Payment of a deposit represents your acceptance of the following Terms and Conditions.

     

    What’s Not Included in the Trip

    Airfare for flights to South Africa, and the internal flights to Kirkman’s Kamp; airline baggage fees; all items not specifically covered in the itinerary; personal, baggage and tour cancellation insurance policy; U.S. and foreign airport taxes; taxi from Cape Town International Airport to the SunSquare Hotel; travel and trip cancellation insurance, medical evacuation insurance; meals not specified in the itinerary; personal items like telephone, laundry in Cape Town, room service and so on, alcoholic beverages where meals are provided; individual tips such as chambermaids, concierge, etc.; tips for driver, tracker and staff at Kirkman’s Kamp (about $125 total); taxis or Uber for getting around Cape Town on your own, should you choose to do so; internet wi-fi except as established in the trip description; airport transfers or any other services not specified in the trip description; and anything else not specifically included in the section “What’s Included.”

     

    Please note that we cannot guarantee any special requests for hotel rooms.

     

    Registration & Payment

    Payment of the deposit confirms your reservation. Deposits may be paid by check made out to Wild Blue Yonder, Inc., 1001 Spring Street, Suite 623, Silver Spring, MD 20910, or credit card via PayPal. There is a 3% surcharge for PayPal. Full final payment is due 90 days before the trip start date.

     

    Once your reservation deposit has been paid, you will receive a confirmation email and further information to help you plan your trip.

     

    Your deposit is refundable for two weeks from the date it is received by Wild Blue Yonder, except for deposits made less than 60 days before a trip departs; those deposits are nonrefundable. After two weeks of the receipt of the deposit by Wild Blue Yonder, deposits are not refundable for any reason and will be forfeited if you cancel your trip reservation. Cancellations must be in writing by either letter to Wild Blue Yonder or email to scampbell@wildblueyonder.biz. Cancellations become effective on the date they are received by Wild Blue Yonder.

     

    All payments made by you are held in an escrow account until 90 days before the start date of the trip. We reserve the right to cancel any reservations that are not paid in full at any time after the final payment is due. If you make your reservation after the final payment due date, payment in full will be required immediately.

     

    Cancellations and Refunds

    For any cancellations made up to 120 days before departure, you will forfeit your deposit but will be refunded any other payments you have made. If you must cancel your trip, the effective date of cancellation will be upon our receipt of your notification, which must be made in writing either by email or letter. Refunds for cancellation are subject to the following per person charges:

     

    120 or more days before trip start date: Full refund less deposit.

    91 - 119 days before trip start date: 25% of trip price (and deposit is forfeited)

    76 - 90 days before trip start date: 50% of trip price (and deposit is forfeited)

    60 - 75 days before trip start date: 75% of trip price (and deposit is forfeited)

    0 - 59 days before trip start date: No refund.

     

    Should the trip be cancelled by Wild Blue Yonder, you would receive a full refund of any monies paid.

     

    While Trip Planners use their best endeavors to ensure that all anticipated accommodation is available as planned, there shall be no claim of any nature whatsoever against Trip Planners for a refund either in the whole or part, if any accommodation or excursion is unavailable and a reasonable alternative is not found. If the guest is unable to use any service provided in the itinerary, then there are no refunds due.

     

    Changes to Your Reservation

    We will not charge you for any changes to your reservation outside of 90 days before the trip start date. From 30 – 89 days before the trip start date, if you make any changes to your reservation, a $100 per person administrative fee will apply. Changes are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed. If your reservation changes from double occupancy to single occupancy, you will be charged the single occupancy rate.

     

    Trip Insurance

    We strongly recommend that you purchase both trip cancellation insurance and traveler’s medical and evacuation insurance for your trip. Should you have to cancel your trip less than 60 days before it begins, we cannot offer refunds, because we will have already paid the costs of your trip to our vendors.

     

    It is a condition of booking that the sole responsibility lies with the guest to ensure that they carry the correct comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover themselves, as well as any dependants/traveling companions for the duration of their trip to South Africa. This insurance should include cover in respect of, but not limited to, the following eventualities: cancellation or curtailment of the trip, emergency evacuation expenses, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, damage/theft/loss of personal baggage, money and goods. Trip Planners including their representatives, employees and agents will take no responsibility for any costs, losses incurred or suffered by the guest, or guest’s dependants or traveling companions, with regards to, but not limited to, any of the above mentioned eventualities. Guests will be charged directly by the relevant service providers for any emergency services they may require, and may find themselves in a position unable to access such services should they not be carrying the relevant insurance cover.

     

    Responsibility

    The liability of Wild Blue Yonder and Extraordinary Journeys individually or jointly (referred to hereafter as Trip Planners), is strictly limited. In no event will the Trip Planners be liable for amounts in excess of the amounts payable to the Trip Planners in accordance with the terms hereunder, nor will Trip Planners be liable for any consequential indirect or incidental damages arising from this agreement. Trip Planners purchase accommodations, transportation and other services from independent suppliers not under our control. We serve only as agents for these suppliers in securing trip arrangements, and therefore will not accept responsibility and liability for wrongful, negligent or arbitrary acts or omissions of these independent contractors, their employees, agents or representatives.

     

    Trip Planners are not liable for injury, damage, loss, accident, or delay that may be caused by events not within our control, including but not limited to, without limitation, acts of terrorism, war, strikes, defects of any vehicle, adverse weather conditions, natural disasters or the negligence or default of any third party.

     

    Trip Planners reserve the right to correct errors in advertised prices. We reserve the right to cancel an advertised trip, decline to accept a reservation or remove a person from a trip if it is determined by us to be in the best interests of the health, safety or general well-being of other trip participants. We will make every effort to conduct our trip as planned, but we reserve the right to make itinerary and other changes as necessary. If unforeseen circumstances require us to change a hotel, we will make every effort to select alternative accommodations of the same quality. The forgoing terms and conditions and all aspects of the relationship between Trip Planners and you shall be governed by the laws of the State of Maryland.

     

    Trip Planners may at their discretion and without liability or cost to themselves at any time cancel or terminate a guest’s booking and in particular without limiting the generality of the a foregoing it shall be entitled to do so in the event of the illness or the illegal or incompatible behavior of the guest, who shall in such circumstances not be entitled to any refund. The person making any booking will, by the making of such booking, warrant that he or she has authority to enter into a contract on behalf of the other person included in such a booking and in the event of the failure of any or all of the other persons so included to make payment, the person making the booking shall by his/her signature thereof assume personal liability for the total price of all bookings made by him/her.

     

    Travel Documents

    You are responsible for securing your own passport, valid for at least six months after the completion of your trip.

     

    Physical Mobility, Health and Medical Issues

    We welcome all travelers, but you must be in good health to participate in our trips. This trip is not particularly strenuous, but there is a good deal of walking on uneven ground. The safari vehicles do not have doors, so you must be able to climb into them up small metal steps, to a height of about five feet.

     

    We regret that we cannot provide individual assistance if you require the use of a wheelchair or have other personal needs; in such cases you must be accompanied by a companion who will assist you.

     

    If you are unable to navigate this amount of walking and climbing, you will not be able to participate fully in the trip, and we suggest you choose another type of trip. We cannot provide individual alternatives to the planned group activities.

     

    If your fitness level does not allow you to keep up with the group, you will be responsible for planning your own activities and for any additional costs incurred (for instance, but not limited to, personal taxis and entrance fees).

     

    Arrival and Departure Dates

    It is your responsibility to make sure you arrive in Cape Town on the specified trip start date. We cannot refund part of your trip if you arrive late or leave early, unless you have notified us of your different start or end date 120 days before the trip start date.

     

    Wild Animals

    Please be aware that the safari lodge may take you into close contact with wild animals. Attacks by wild animals are rare, but you cannot be guaranteed on any safari into the African wilderness that this will not occur. Neither the Trip Planners, lodge, company, nor their employees, nor their agents can be held responsible for any injury or incident on the safari. Please note that the safari lodge is not fenced.

     

    Photography

    Trip Planners reserve the right without further notice to make use of any photograph or film taken on the trip by our photographers without payment or permission. We guarantee that no photographs of a compromising nature will be used.

     

    Changes to Schedules

    Although every effort is made to adhere to schedules it should be borne in mind that Trip Planners reserve the right and in fact are obliged to occasionally change routes and accommodation on trips and safaris as dictated by changing conditions. Such conditions may be brought about by seasonal rainfall on bush tracks, airfields and in game areas, by game migrations from one region to another, or airline or other booking problems, etc.

    Ready to Pack Your Bags?

    To reserve your space, register here. 

    This trip is limited to a maximum of 14 travelers, so reserve your space today before it sells out!