(11D11N) Origin of Man and Wonders of Nature Tour in South Africa

South Africa

Changi Airport

This adventure is:

South Africa: (11D11N) Origin of Man and Wonders of Natur...

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“An avid traveller, Darius loves an exotic and unusual adventure. Some of his adventures include chasing after crop circles in UK, looking for Northern lights in Finland, and seeing Macchu Picchu in Peru. He has travelled upwards of 30 countries and this list continues to grow... For some of his travel stories, go to: https://elevenasia.com/about-us/darius-soon/”

9 Adventures organized
33 Friends came along

Highlights

South Africa is believed to be the Cradle of Humankind. This is where Humans first originate and spread out throughout the world.

In this curated trip, I have brought together in the time available opportunities to understand how our earliest ancestors may have arisen and the marvels of Nature that they must have been bewildered by, just like we would be on this tour!

Highlights include:
- Cradle of Mankind and Sterkfontein Caves (UNESCO World Heritage Sites)
- Adam's Calender, believed to be the oldest man-made structure in the world
- Kruger National Park to catch the Big 5 Animals and Big 6 Birds of South Africa
- Whale watching
- Penguins watching
- Great White Shark Cage Diving (optional - no diving experience required)
- Viewing blooming flowers at Namaqualand, specifically at Cederberg as part of the Cape Floral area (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
- See ancient rock art of the San and Khoi people
- Table Mountain
- Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point

Lion in Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park is famous for being able to catch all Big 5 animals - Lion, Elephant, Leopard, Rhinoceros and Buffalo; as well as all Big 6 birds of South Africa - Ground Hornbill, Pel's Fishing-Owl, Lappetfaced Vulture, Saddle-Billed Stork, Martial Eagle and Kori Bustard.

Martial Eagle, one of the Big 6 Birds of South Africa

Martial eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus) juvenile by Bernard DUPONT licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0

Let's see how many of the animals we can spot! We would go on 2 game drives with an option to go for a 3rd one at Kruger National Park, one of the largest reserve in Africa with over 500 bird species, 100 reptiles and nearly 150 mammals.

View the Carpet of Flowers at Namaqualand

Namaqualand flowers by Malcolm Manners licensed by BY CC 2.0

This tour is timed to catch the world-renowed blooming of flowers at Namaqualand. This area receives little rain throughout the year but after the winter rains, the normally dry landscape becomes a carpet of wild flowers with vibrant bands of gousblomme and vygies, as well as nemesias, lachenalias, babiana and ixias.

Humpback whale breaching

Set off from the Hermanus New Harbour in search of these ‘gentle giants.’ Have a seafood lunch before heading off to see the penguins at Betty's Bay.

Penguins at Betty's Bay

Stony Point Penguin Colony - Betty's Bay, South Africa by Christopher Griner licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0

Optional shark cage diving!

Shark Cage Diving in Gansbaai by African Budget Safaris licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0

For the more adventurous amongst us, let's try the ultimate thrill - shark cage diving. Stare into the shark's eyes, and get your adrenaline pumping as all that separate you and the great white is a cage. South Africa is one of the few places in the world where you can get to experience these. For those who prefer a quieter morning, you would remain in Hermanus which is easy to explore on foot and has a wonderful cliff path to walk, and a curio market in the centre of the town, a short walk from the hotel.

Table mountain

Table Mountain National Park, South Africa by miquitos licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0

We would be taking a cable car to the summit of Table Mountain. Enjoy the beautiful views before coming down to Cape Point...

Cape Point

We would be visiting the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point. The guide will point out significant points of historical interest along the coastline with a chance to visit some of the old fisherman’s dwellings that dot the bays inside the National Park.

Cradle of Humankind

Pexels by Magda Ehlers licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0

Cradle of Humankind is a highly interactive museum where we would get to understand the origins of Mankind...

Visit the Sterkfontein Caves

Hominid models, Sterkfontein Caves Visitor Centre by flowcomm licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0

Within the Sterkfontein Caves, scientists have discovered many hominid and other animal fossils, dating back more than 4-million years, to the birth of humanity.

Ancient rock art of the San and Khoi people

When we visit Namaqualand, besides seeing flowers in Cederberg, which forms part of the Cape floral region, a World Heritage Site, we would also get to enjoy the local Cave Art sites.

Adam's Calender, possibly the oldest man-made structure in the world!

Adam’s Calendar is controversially suggested to be the oldest man-made structure in the world. Sometimes referred to as "African Stonehenge", it predates both Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid of Giza by tens of thousands of years. Located in Mpumalanga, South Africa it is a standing stone circle about 30 meters in diameter and has been estimated by some accounts to be more than 75,000 years old.

Additional Info

Recommended Flight:
Outbound
Singapore Airlines SQ478
28 Aug 2020 01:30 SIN - 29 Aug 2020 06:10 JNB

Inbound
Singapore Airlines SQ479
7 Sep 2020 13:45 JNB - 8 Sep 2020 06:10 SIN

Flight ticket prices as at 20/10/2019 @ SGD1,207

Number of days of leave needed = 7

Disclaimer: We would try every opportunity to see all the animals, but ultimately these are wild and there is no guarantee that we can catch all or any one of them.

Itinerary

28 Aug 2020 - late night flight from Singapore to Johannesburg

29 Aug - On arrival at Johannesburg Airport, you will be met by your local English-speaking guide and travel to Maropeng, the Cradle of Humankind. From here, visit the Sterkfontein Caves. Within the Sterkfontein Caves, scientists have discovered many hominid and other animal fossils, dating back more than 4-million years, to the birth of humanity. After the tour, travel to Waterval-Boven where you will be spending the first night. Dinner is included at the hotel on this evening. Overnight: 4* Gooderson’s Kloppenheim Country Estate. Meals: B,D

30 Aug - After breakfast at the hotel, travel with your guide to Blue Swallow National Heritage Site for a morning guided tour of Adam’s Calendar. After the tour, enjoy lunch stop at a local restaurant (own account) before exploring the southern Panorama Route, including Graskop and Sabie. From here, travel with your guide to the Kruger National Park. Dinner is included at the hotel on this evening. Overnight: 4* Nkambeni Safari Lodge. Meals: B,D

31 Aug - After breakfast at the hotel, enjoy a morning and afternoon open vehicle game drive in the Kruger National Park (including conservation fees) No lunch is included on this day. Overnight: 4* Nkambeni Safari Lodge. Meals: B,D

1 Sep - Awake early for an optional morning safari in this unspoiled wilderness, and a last chance to maybe spot that elusive leopard! Return to the lodge for breakfast before travelling to the airport to board the flight to Cape Town. On arrival, you will be met by your local English speaking guide for the road transfer to Hermanus. No lunch is included on this day but enjoy dinner at a local restaurant in the evening. (A snack lunch is served on the flight.) Overnight: 4* Windsor Hotel Meals: B,D

2 Sep - After breakfast, enjoy a whale watching trip which begins with an on-land briefing led by a whale specialist guide before heading down the jetty to the catamaran. Set off from the Hermanus New Harbour in search of the ‘gentle giants.’ The purpose-built catamaran provides superior viewing and comfort and during the Hermanus whale tour the friendly, knowledgeable crew add that personal touch allowing for an all-round great experience, from ensuring the perfect photo opportunities are not missed to serving complimentary light refreshments. After the cruise, enjoy a seafood lunch at Bientang’s Cave Restaurant (or similar, own account) before visiting Betty’s Bay. Betty's Bay contains the Harold Porter National Botanical Garden as well as an African penguin colony in the Betty's Bay Marine Protected Area. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant on this evening. Overnight: 4* Windsor Hotel Meals: B,D

3 Sep - Arise early on this morning for an optional activity, a Great White shark cage dive. Travel with the guide to Great White House in Kleinbaai where you will have a light breakfast and register your wet suit size; receive a pre-trip safety briefing about what to expect during the trip; and a biological background on Great White sharks. Then take a stroll down to the harbour to board the boat to sail the short distance out to Shark Alley where your cage diving will take place.

Anyone that does not want to dive can remain in Hermanus which is easy to explore on foot and has a wonderful cliff path to walk, and a curio market in the centre of the town, a short walk from the hotel.

After the dive, travel with the guide to the Cederberg with a stop to pick up anyone that has remained in Hermanus and then another stop en route for a late lunch (own account). Overnight: 4* Clanwilliam Hotel. Meals B, D.

4 Sep - Enjoy a relaxed breakfast, before heading out to explore the area with your guide. The Cederberg Wilderness encompasses the Cederberg Mountains, burnt orange by iron oxide, dominate the landscape. Jagged sandstone rock formations, like the Maltese Cross and the Wolfberg Arch, and ancient rock art of the San and Khoi people make this area truly spectacular. The Cederberg, which forms part of the Cape floral region, is a World Heritage Site, is covered in mountain fynbos, including the laurel protea, the red disa, rooibos, and the rare and endemic snow protea. You are perfectly based to explore the best floral displays occurring during your visit and enjoy the local Cave Art sites. Overnight: 4* Clanwilliam Hotel. Meals B, D.

5 Sep - After breakfast at the lodge, enjoy the morning exploring the wild flowers along the route back to Cape Town with a stop for lunch (own account) en route. Check into your Hotel and then enjoy dinner at a V&A Waterfront Restaurant. Overnight: 4* Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge. Meals: B,D

6 Sep - Depart after breakfast for a visit to the summit of Table Mountain via cable-car (weather permitting). From here, travel with your guide via the famous Chapman’s Peak coastal drive to Cape Point. Enjoy lunch at the Two Oceans Seafood Restaurant (or similar) before visiting the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point. Your guide will point out significant points of historical interest along the coastline with a chance to visit some of the old fisherman’s dwellings that dot the bays inside the National Park. Dinner is back at the hotel. Overnight: 4* Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge. Meals: B,L,D

7 Sep - An early breakfast before you are transferred back to Cape Town Airport for your morning flight back to Singapore. Arrive home the following morning.

8 Sep - Arrival back to Singapore