Wildlife Refuge Safari in Zululand and Luxurious Accommodations in Cape Town
Big Five refers to the lion, the African elephant, the cape buffalo, the leopard, and the rhinoceros. The term originated with big-game hunters, as these animals were considered to be the most prized pelts in the world. Today, all members of the Big Five save the buffalo are classified as endangered, vulnerable, or near threatened. But it’s still possible to observe these majestic creatures up-close in a protected, natural environment at Thanda Private Game Reserve in South Africa’s northern Zululand, where the animals roam more than 34,000 acres of rehabilitated farmland. Guests can go on safari and scope out metropolitan Cape Town with today’s Getaway from Africa Answers.
Click here for a day-by-day itinerary of the trip.
Days 1–3: Tour-takers depart on an Emirates airline coach-class flight from one of six U.S. cities, touching down in Dubai before moving on to Cape Town. Passengers will travel overnight on the aircraft.
A company representative will meet guests at the airport before escorting them to Pepper Club Luxury Hotel & Spa. Heralded by CNN Traveller as the Best Luxury Hotel in South Africa, Pepper Club dazzles with a beachfront restaurant and nightclub and an indoor pool with panoramic views of Table Mountain. Throughout the trip, guests will have complimentary access to the shuttle service between the hotel, waterfront and beach before returning to stay in a one bedroom superior deluxe suite.
Days 4–6: The first full day in Cape Town begins with a guided half-day city tour. The morning is devoted to a guided tour of city sights such as the Castle of Good Hope, the oldest colonial building in the country. On Days 5 and 6, guests have free rein to take a self-guided tour of the town; the Pepper Club’s 24-hour concierge service can provide ideas for exploration.
Days 7–9: The tour takes a dramatic turn when guests transfer to Thanda Private Game Reserve via a flight to Durban on South Africa’s east coast. At Thanda, guests will spend two days on safari, hopping on open-topped Land Rovers to traverse the expansive reserve during morning and afternoon guided tours. The Big Five animals all make their home on the reserve and can sometimes be seen alongside wild dogs, cheetahs, and awestruck Ernest Hemingways. At night, sojourners will stay in tented safari camps, which accentuate the safari experience with regal four-poster beds, en suite bathrooms, and staggering views of the game reserve.
Days 10–11: The journey ends when guests fly out of the Durban airport on an Emirates airline flight, connecting once again through Dubai.