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Though carefully compiled, the itinerary may vary slightly due to unpredictable weather, or in response to spontaneous opportunities that might arise.
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History Tour: Itinerary
DAY 1 – CAPE TOWN
On arrival at Cape Town airport you’ll be met and transferred to your beachfront hotel where you can relax and unwind before gathering at sunset for a welcome drink and celebratory dinner with select guests who’ll whet your appetite and feed your curiosity.
Stay on the Atlantic seaboard at the Winchester Mansions in Sea Point for 4 nights.
DAY 2 – CAPE PENINSULA
Journey around the Cape Peninsula, where two great ocean currents create two diverse marine environments that nourished early man. Summit Table Mountain by way of cable car to take in the magnificent views. Continue to Cape Point along Chapmans Peak to stand at the legendary tip of the African continent – which bold seafarers rounded in the 15th century – changing the landscape forever. Savour a lunch-with-a-view before returning via the naval bastion of Simon’s Town.
The evening is open, with numerous dining choices available.
DAY 3 – CAPE TOWN
Investigate three centuries of colonial rule from the Dutch power hub – The Castle of Good Hope, and the British hub – The Houses of Parliament. Look around the colourful Bo Kaap quarter, home of the former Cape Malay slave community. Explore Government Avenue, a tree-lined boulevard, flanked by significant architectural and civic landmarks that include The Slave Lodge, The SA Museum and The SA Jewish Museum, lunching in the Company’s Garden.
In the evening, enjoy a banquet of pan African dishes.
DAY 4 – CAPE TOWN
Look into the life and legacy of iconic pioneer / mining magnate Cecil John Rhodes. Visit Groote Schuur, the stately home of former prime ministers, now bequeathed to the nation. The contents are priceless. The setting magnificent. The architecture Cape Dutch Revival courtesy Herbert Baker.
Later, you could independently explore the V&A Waterfront that holds cultural and maritime landmarks, or opt for a trip to Robben Island that’s a tangible reminder of the past, where you get a first hand account of prison life from former inmates. Or both!
The afternoon and evening are at leisure on your last day in Cape Town.
DAY 5 – THE WINELANDS / STELLENBOSCH
Head out to The Winelands, a mere hour’s drive away. First up, hear how the country’s migrant labour system bed-rocked the economy, and witness how workers lived in a preserved hostel/museum. Contrast this with the spacious gardens and gracious manor house of the country’s premier wine estate, lunching here.
On the slopes of a great rock that looms above the town of Paarl, see a symbolic tribute to the world’s youngest language – Afrikaans, and another that highlights the Afrikaners’ struggle for independence. Follow with drinks on the veranda of an 18th-century manor house with sweeping views across the valley. Savour dinner at one of Stellenbosch’s award winning restaurants in the country’s second oldest town studded with architectural gems and tree-lined streets.
Stay over in the heart of Stellenbosch at Oude Werf for 2 nights.
DAY 6 – THE WINELANDS / STELLENBOSCH
Be shown over a beguiling landscape inspired by The Dutch East India Company’s garden layout that replenished passing ships with fresh food from 1652 onwards.
On another estate, track 8,000 years of people living in one spot – through colonialism, slavery and apartheid to the dawn of democracy. Sample traditional Cape cuisine and award-winning wines before returning to Stellenbosch. You could independently visit The Village Museum where history comes alive via four furnished houses that illustrate particular periods and tastes of their time, or browse galleries and shops since the afternoon and evening are open.
DAY 7 – KWAZULU NATAL / FUGITIVE’S DRIFT
Fly to Durban (1.5-hour flight) before being transferred inland to a scene-setting spot for tales of the British struggles for dominance with the Zulu.
Relax, cool off in the spectacularly located pool, or browse the remarkable collection of war memorabilia before welcome drinks followed by dinner at Fugitives Drift for 2 nights.
DAY 8 – KWAZULU NATAL / FUGITIVE’S DRIFT
Retrace two monumental battles as they occurred on one day in 1879. In the morning, hear in gripping detail how ‘’a bunch of half-naked savages armed with sharp sticks’’ inflicted the greatest defeat ever on the British army in the colonies at Isandlwana – and around sunset at Rorke’s Drift, why more Victoria Crosses were awarded than in any other battle in history in an epic defence against impossible odds …
Over a delicious dinner, digest how, ultimately, the gun was mightier than the spear.
DAY 9 – KWAZULU NATAL / SPION KOP
Spion Kop, in the foothills of the Drakensberg, is where you’ll walk in the footsteps of three men who shaped history on a day in 1900: Louis Botha, the Boer commander who became a prime minister; Mahatma Gandhi, then a stretcher bearer and Winston Churchill, a 23-year old war correspondent. Relive the day while ”standing on a hill where history was written”. Renowned raconteur Raymond Heron artfully weaves stories leading up to this battle, mesmerising you with anecdotes and leaving you with goosebumps.
Enjoy a late lunch and dinner in the house used as General Bullers’ headquarters during the Anglo Boer War, staying the night at Spionkop.
Day 10 – KWAZULU NATAL MIDLANDS & JOHANNESBURG
After a leisurely breakfast, embark on journey through the Midlands, stopping for a curated visit at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site that commemorates his life and exploits, before boarding a late afternoon flight from Durban to Johannesburg (1-hour flight).
Welcoming staff are on hand to whip up a delectable supper at The Winston on the first of 3 nights.
DAY 11 – JOHANNESBURG
Johannesburg is the power house of the country. Meet Robin Binckes, story teller extraordinaire, who shares his passion for people and place – unforgettably. Get a taste of the city, its turbulent past and follow in the footsteps of courageous leaders.
Dinner under your own arrangements.
Day 12 – JOHANNESBURG
Visit a historic landmark and unique heritage site in the inner city that tells a tale of South Africa’s difficult past and remarkable transition. See democracy at work in the highest court in the land. Hear about the genesis of its art collection-with-a-human-rights-theme, all tributes to the country’s constitution and connected to its values. After lunch, soothe your senses at a living museum which is a capsule of some of Mahatma Gandhi’s 21-years in South Africa, and embodies his strategy of ”soul force” campaigns against discriminatory legislation.
At a festive farewell dinner, you’ll be able to sift through pivotal moments in South African history and discern why every inch of the landscape has been contested.
Day 13 – JOHANNESBURG
Unravel man’s journey out of Africa and span of evolution stretching back some 3.5 million years. During a curated walkabout that uncovers where and when things began, see ”the” ground-breaking artefact that dates man’s thinking as well as San/Bushmen rock art traditions (the world’s oldest continuous art form).
Follow with a celebratory lunch at a popular spot in the city’s first urban renewal project.
Or (depending on time), head out to The Cradle of Humankind, a UNESCO World Heritage Site some 50-minutes away, where forty per cent of the world’s human ancestors have been found.
Subject to your schedule, you’ll be transferred to the airport for your home bound journey or optional onward safari.