The response to our invitation was so positive, we will undoubted do this journey again. Please drop me an email, so I know that you are interested in the next journey.
Maggie and Chris Mellor invite you on an unforgettable journey to their former homeland.
September 22 to October 7th 2011
A cultural, historic, gourmet, scenic and transformative journey!
Chris and Maggie are now United States citizens, yet their hearts remain in the land where they shared so many years, and still have family and friends. For scenery, cultural diversity and sheer excitement of seeing wildlife in the many game parks, South Africa is unparalleled; We want to share that with you!
Itinerary for our extraordinary trip to South Africa
Day 1: Saturday Sept 24 Arrive in Johannesburg early morning – check into lodge to freshen up and then visit Cradle of Humankind, an extraordinary archeological site, near JHB. This is a World Heritage Site and lays the history of humankind. (Much revered by National Geographic!)) Early dinner and sleep at lodge. (L,D)
Day 2: Sunday Sept 25. After a good nights sleep and hearty breakfast, we take local flight from nearby small airport to Durban (the now famous Kulula Air!)
From the brand new Shaka Zulu airport we drive two hours to the extraordinary private game, Thula Thula . Check into our luxury tented camp and take off on our first game drive. Dine under African skies. This game park was chosen for its philosophy of socially and environmentally responsible life-style, promoting the best for all locals, animals and visitors. Read more about it The Elephant Whisperer. Visit site at www.thulathula.com (B,D)
Day 3: Monday Sep 26: After yoga and excellent breakfast , we are taken on a fully guided tour to Hluluwe – Umfolozi Game Park. This is wilderness as it always was. This is the historic land of the great chief Shaka. Here we can see The Big Five. (B,L,D)
Day 4: Tuesday Sept 27: Yoga and breakfast. Excursion to St Lucia Estuary for day with picnic lunch, boat cruise to Hippo and crocodiles. Return for afternoon game drive and dinner under stars. (B,L,D)
Day 5: Wednesday Sep 28 Bush walk and game drive – relaxing day at pool, with yoga in the shade. Time to integrate all we have done so far. (Other options like cycling and other excursions for those who don’t want to rest!) (B,L,D)
Day 6: Thursday Sep 29 Bush walk, breakfast, massage on your own verandah, yoga, followed by lunch and game drive and 4 course gourmet dinner at Safari Lodge. (B,L,D)
Day 7: Friday Sep 30: Yoga, breakfast, bush walk. After lunch we go to an authentic Zulu Village to meet traditional healer. Evening dinner in boma. (B,L,D)
Day 8: Saturday October 1st: Bush walk, breakfast and transfer back to Durban airport. We fly to Cape Town a 2 hour flight arriving early afternoon. Our descent into the Mother City should be spectacular. Dominated by Table Mountain, this city is one of the most beautiful in the world! We are lodged in a family run small hotel snuggled on the slopes of Table Mountain. Dinner at an exciting new restaurant: Gold Museum, for a real African vibe with drumming and all! (B,D)
Sunday Day 9: We visit Robben Island former prison to political activists during the Apartheid Era. Our boat trip offers brilliant views of the city and takes us to the most famous prison cell in modern history. Guides on this tour are former inmates, so delightful story-tellers. Back on land, we drive a short way around Table Mountain for an elegant Lunch in Constantia, a verdant well-heeled suburb (the Montecito of Cape Town,) under oak trees and enjoying the delights of Cape wines and food. In the afternoon we head for Table Mountain taking the cable car up to enjoy a fantastic sunset. Evening at the Waterfront. This is a working harbor made visitor- welcoming with an array of shops, restaurants and street artists. (B,L)
Day 10: After breakfast we set off for an all-day Cape Penisula tour. We see the topography that makes this place famous, and visit the old haunts of your hosts Maggie and Chris. Stunning views all the way. Lots of stops for exploration and photography. Spectacular venue for lunch! The penguin colony. Baboons on the roadside. Safely home to our lodgings, we freshen up and hit the waterfront for more exploration and (for those who like), shopping! (B,L)
Day 11: After breakfast we take an historical heritage tour of Cape Town. The history of this country is everywhere to be seen. Lunch in town, cobbled streets, Green Market Square for informal trader shopping. In the afternoon we have a Cape Malay cooking demonstration. (Malays are descendants of the slave trade that also colors the history here.) This cuisine is full of surprises, spices and delightful flavors. You will go home ready to dazzle your friends with new culinary skills! We explore museums, gardens and enjoy evening meal at Cape Malay restaurant. (B,L,D)
Day 12: After breakfast we check out our lodgings visit Kirstenbosch famous gardens before heading into the winelands of Franschoek. Wine tastings and food. Small villages, exquisite scenery and French Hugenout as well as Malay culture. Our lodgings in the heart of this gourmet center of S Africa (Napa eat your heart out!) allow us to freely wander the streets, museums, coffee shops and restaurants. Or chill out at the hotel pool. We dine in style. (B)
Day 13: After breakfast we visit a local village, have a picnic lunch at a very innovative wine estate Solms Delta. Here we will see how far South Africa has integrated its painful past and is building a future that benefits all who live there. In the afternoon you will be taken to Cape Town airport and head the shortest route back to USA. (B,L)
Day 14: Arrive in USA on Friday October 8th
This will be a small group journey. The itinerary has been carefully planned for you to experience the best of this land, just slightly off the main tourist route. We have also avoided multi-national hotels and venues, and use eco and socially responsible companies to host us. The journey will be personalized by your hosts, former residents of this country, who unashamedly are still deeply in love with all of it. Please commit right away if you want to come. Oh, yes the yoga! Daily at the safari camp, and then wherever space permits! We will circle together often in conversation to enrich our experience as we travel together.
International Air: currently $1700 return. Book through Classic Travel to be on same, best priced, connected,shortest flight . Leave Thursday September 22 at 10.00pm, return Friday Oct 8th.
Includes all local transportation, both ground and air, all shared accommodations with breakfast and all scheduled entrances. All meals are included, other than 1 lunch and 3 dinners in the Cape Town leg. (That is to allow for personal preferences in the gourmet centers.)
Not included: Beverages with dinner and lunch, tips, personal insurance, laundry and shopping.
Does not include international air.
This will be an incredible journey. Carpe Diem!
Namaste and love, Maggie and Chris – AKA Soul Gypsies
1. Email your response. YES
2. Book your flight. I highly recommend you book with Laurel at Classic Travel. Tel: 805 585 3721 Email: LSottL@aol.com. She will get everyone on the same flight ensuring that you are picked up at JHB airport. Please talk to her about your travel insurance as well.
If you are using airmiles, talk to me, to see where you can slot into the itinerary and adjust cost.
3. Pay Deposit to Maggie. Email Maggie for details. Staggered for your convenience.