Home to breathtaking nature, sun-soaked beaches, lush vineyards, and a fascinating blend of culture and history, not to mention wildlife, South Africa is a trip and a half.
This whirlwind tour kicks off in the stunning port city of Cape Town and wraps in a cozy farm-house lodge in the secluded escarpment of Mpumulanga near Johannesburg. What fills the hours and days in between is a whole lot of South African wine, wildlife, and wonder. Meet inspiring female winemakers and receive the grand tour of a true South African township. Sip sundowners on safari and play with the penguins of Boulder Bay. South Africa will steal your heart, leaving you, and your new friends, forevermore connected to this wild and wonderful corner of the world.
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More than a few safaris at a Big 5 lodge in Kruger National Park.
Get an inside look at Langa Township with a female guide born and raised there.
Taste wine paired with chocolate and cheese with one of the regions few female wine makers.
Cape Town Airport Pickup
With the group gathered, we’ll hop in our private transport and head to our hotel by the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. We’ll come together for a welcome dinner of Cape Malay cuisine at the Quarter Kitchen Restaurant. This maritime-themed restaurant is housed in a 300-year-old prison that once served as the holding cells for inmates on their way to Robben Island. Over cocktails and between bitefuls of Malay curries and stews, we’ll have the chance to get to know each other.
Historic Cape Winelands
With our palates whet, we’ll go for a drive through the beautiful university town of Stellenbosch (the second oldest town in South Africa) to Mitre’s Edge where Lola, the owner and one of the few female winemakers bearing the sought after title of Cape Master Winemaker, will take us through a tasting. Here, you’ll get to sample a few different wines and wander the estate’s vineyards, learning about viticulture and catching the daily duck parade. Come lunchtime, we’ll continue our tour to Fairview Wine Estate for a memorable and French-rivaling cheese and wine pairing followed by lunch. For dessert, we’ll head over to Villiera Estate, famous for their MCC (South African Champagne), where you’ll get a quick tour of the wine cellar and a tasty assortment of bubbly and handcrafted chocolates, the perfect pairing. Enjoy the rest of the evening and dinner at your leisure. Meals: breakfast, lunch
Weekends on the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront are full of life, with African dance groups performing on the pier, local artists showing off their craft in the arena, and restaurants spilling over with diners hungry for seafood and artisanal bites. Meals: breakfast
The Cape Peninsula
At Maidens Cove, we’ll hop out to soak in the stunning views of the Twelve Apostles Mountains, before continuing our drive to Hout’s Bay. From there, we’ll begin the Chapman’s Peak drive, easily one of the most beautiful drives in the world, while our guide shares stories of the forced removals in District Six and Simon’s Town in the 50s and 60s and the establishment of areas like Ocean View.
Before lunch, we will arrive at Table Mountain National Park. Depending on weather and our timing, you may have a chance to take a dip in Buffel’s Bay or walk the beach before we make our way to Cape Point for lunch at Two Oceans Restaurant. After lunch, take your pick from a variety of options, including a heart-pumping walk up to the lighthouse, opting to take the funicular there instead, or setting off on an adventurous hike to the Cape of Good Hope where the lighthouse group will catch up with you. We’ll come together for a photo in front of the iconic sign, proof that we all made it to the most South Westerly point of Africa. Then, we’ll head to Boulder Bay to see the world’s cutest penguins and, depending on the tide, go for a swim.
We’ll wrap up the day with a visit to Simon’s Town to hear old World War II tales, like the one about the stray Great Dane named Just Nuisance, famous for raising the spirits of the British Naval officers stationed there at the time. Meals: breakfast
Table Mountain and Langa Township
We’ll also tour the art-centric District Six Museum and dine on a classic Township cuisine at Lelapa Restaurant. After lunch, Sam will pass the torch to a local guide who will give us a tour of her Langa community, including visits to the Shebeen (African bar), several hostels, a pre-school, the practice of a traditional healer and the Robert Sobukwe Monument. We’ll end our day with a drive through Bonteuhewel and Gugulethu before heading back to the hotel. Meals: breakfast, lunch.
Thornybush Game Reserve
The Thornybush Waterside Lodge will be our new home base for the next three nights. Settle into your room and prepare for your afternoon game drive through the reserve, complete with sundowners and hopefully a few wildlife sightings. Then, wind down with a delicious dinner together at the lodge. Meals: breakfast, dinner.
Thornybush Game Reserve
With your guides whispering bush knowledge in your ears, experience the sounds and sights of the African bush waking up. Spend the entire morning exploring the reserve on foot or by vehicle, building up an appetite for lunch at the lodge followed by some free time. In the late afternoon, as the sun is beginning to make its descent, we’ll go for another off-road game drive.
Come sundown, the bush will begin to echo with the sounds of the Monotonous Lark, the shuffle and barks of packs of wild dogs, and sights only the African Bush at dusk could deliver. Take it all in over sundowners in the jeep as you move through the inspiring and lively landscape. After hopefully a few close-up sightings of wildlife, we’ll return to the lodge for dinner together. Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Thornybush Game Reserve
Reconnect with your newfound surroundings and hopefully spot some of the wildlife you may have missed the day before. Tuck into a delicious lunch mid-day and spend the early afternoon relaxing at the lodge. As the sun begins to set, we’ll hop in the safari jeep once again for a game drive with sundowners before dinner. Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Upon return, we’ll check out of the lodge and connect with our new guide and driver Helen Malison. She’ll take us on a daylong roadtrip along the Panorama Route where our jaws will drop again and again at the sight of ridiculous rock formations, impressive waterfalls, incredible wildlife, and fascinating flora, not to mention the verdant views of the Blyde River Canyon, one of the world’s largest and cloaked in lush subtropical vegetation. Lunch will be en route to allow us to keep moving to our final destination: the Mogodi Lodge, located 50 meters from the Graskop Gorge Falls and views of Mpumalanga Lowveld. Enjoy the evening in the quaint town of Graskop and grab some dinner on your own. Meals: breakfast.
We’ll then travel to Verlorenkloof Lodge in the Mpumalanga Highlands, enjoying lunch en route. Our accomodation for the night is a fully stocked gorgeous stone house, called a croft, located near ruins left behind by the vanished Koni tribe. Throw on some comfy clothes and settle in for sundowners with the Verlorenkloof owners, Eric and Heidi Johnson, and a typical South African Braai (barbecue) prepared right at the croft. Meals: breakfast and dinner
Our guide will introduce us to the region’s fauna, flora, waterfalls, forests, as well as several sites and structures left behind by the land’s original settlers.
We’ll then head back to the croft to freshen up and grab a seat at the table for a well-deserved breakfast where we’ll meet the rest of the Verlorenkloof team. Spend the next few hours at your leisure before we regroup for a visit to Hlokomela Creche, a preschool created and run by the owners of the lodge to support their full-time female staff. Afterwards, we’ll find some shade under a tree or in the shadows of one of the historical sites to dig into a delicious picnic lunch. In the afternoon, we’ll explore the archeological sites scattered throughout the farm and hear captivating tales of the Koni people, the settlers’ graves, and the historic farm as it was then and what it’s become today. Back at the croft, a home-cooked meal awaits. Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Depart to Johannesburg
We’ll brunch together at the lodge before we grab our things and begin the trip back to Johannesburg between noon and 1pm. We should arrive at the OR Tambo International Airport before 4pm, leaving plenty of time for a teary goodbye before evening flights. Meals: breakfast.
Our accommodation is hand-picked to give you the best combination of comfort, location, and style. These are photos from our collection of favorite lodges and bed and breakfasts to give you a sense of the accommodation you can expect with us.
Thornybush Game Lodge
You’ll feel like you’re in a movie at this small, luxury lodge. This reserve boasts some of the best ecologists and wildlife experts and un-staged animal sightings. The food: better-than-your-mother’s-cooking kind of homemade deliciousness.
Surrounded by nature, you will be guided to learn more about the smaller wildlife and landscape indigenous to the area. Verlorenkloof is a working farm with an abundance of farm animals and many beautiful stone built crofts scattered across the hills. The Lodge is managed by Heidi, Eric along with a wonderful staff which makes Verlorenkloof the epitome of South African warm hospitality.
- Accommodation in twin rooms
- Most meals, according to the itinerary
- Local transportation
- Airport pickup (see arrival details)
- All entrance fees and activities in the itinerary unless specified as optional
We will pick you up from the airport at 11am and ride together to our first stop of the tour. You can either get a flight that arrives early or come a whole day early and get some rest before our adventure. We can help you arrange it.
Make sure your flight doesn’t depart before 7pm on the last day or book a flight our the next day.
- A deposit of $500 is required to hold your spot.
- Final payment is due 60 days before departure.
- Pay as much as often as you like until the due date.
- If you cancel your spot earlier than 60 days before departure, you can apply your payment to any trip within the next year.
- No refunds on deposits.
- Visa fees if applicable
- Travel insurance (mandatory)
- Airport drop off
- The itinerary is subject to change due for any reason – weather, unexpected cancellations, impromptu local opportunities, or surprise additions.
- Comprehensive travel insurance is mandatory or you may be refused to join the tour. See our guide for help choosing a plan.
- All bookings are subject to our terms and conditions.
What our travelers say
Best chance to get to know people in the network!
“I joined the SoFe Network on Facebook 3 years ago but joined the membership because I wanted to interact with people without the weirdness of Facebook social boundaries. It absolutely worked, and I’ve made so many friends and been on quite a few zoom events. The events are amazing, the people are amazing, best chance to get to know people in the network!” Kirsten | Membership
One of the best trips I’ve ever been on.
“I had always wanted to go to Morocco but I was hesitant to go alone which normally I have no problem doing. I saw this trip advertised on the Solo Female Traveler Network Facebook page and the more I looked into it the more I wanted to go. So I did..and let me tell you that it was one of the best trips I’ve ever been on…seriously.” Jennifer H. | Morocco
So much more than a tour.
“I have been on three tours with these ladies, and I can not even explain how amazing my experiences have been. It’s so much more than just a tour. I have made life-long friends who understand my wanderlust, met local people who taught me the warmth and kindness of the places we’ve visited, and I have left feeling empowered to travel more.” Megan S. | Bali