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South Africa - Mandela Landscapes

Mandela Landscapes has been selected by the editors of National Geographic Traveler as one of the world's top 50 'Tours of a Lifetime'. The seven day itinerary introduces the landscapes and culture that influenced Madiba. Travel through the Transkei homeland and explore Mandela's birthplace, enjoying a traditional Xhosa meal at the village of Qunu where he grew up. A local guide will introduce you to the Mandela Museum which recounts his life and you will meet a sangoma healer to learn about Xhosa traditions, medicines and beliefs. Delve deeper into the region's history, exploring the Eastern Cape battlefields where the original struggle for freedom began. Your journey will conclude at the Samara Private Game Reserve to appreciate the region's stunning natural beauty and wildlife, as well as experiencing conservation in action. Those interested may continue their journey on an optional four night extension to Cape Town, Robben Island and the Winelands.

Day 7 - Depart Samara Private Game Reserve
Transfer from Samara to Port Elizabeth Airport. Fly to Cape Town (internal flight not included), to stay at Kensington Place for three nights.

Set on the slopes of Table Mountain in Cape Town, lies the five star boutique experience of Kensington Place. A quiet leafy suburb, Kensington Place is surrounded by a small landscaped garden and has stunning views over the city, harbour and Table Mountain. Kensington Place is an intimate hotel with only eight rooms that are all meticulously designed. It is well known for personal attention and hospitality, guests are warmly welcomed to the lounge and terraces day and night; there is a bar and dining room, swimming pool, DVD and music library, full concierge service and 24 hour room service. From Kensington Place visitors can easily access the V & A Waterfront, Table Mountain Cableway, the beaches of Camps Bay and Clifton, or the city. There are also numerous excellent restaurant options a short drive away.

Overnight: Kensington Place

Day 8 - Footsteps to Freedom Tour
This morning you will explore the Old Town, where you visit Greenmarket Square and hear interesting tales of Dutch rule at the Castle of Good Hope and Grand Parade, see where the slaves were traded and where they laboured in the Company's Garden. You will also visit Parliament, where the apartheid laws were passed and revoked and hear of the distressing consequences of unfettered racism through the District Six forced removal.

In the afternoon there will be a City & Table Mountain Tour, exploring the city of Cape Town, known lovingly as the Mother City. Your visit will include the vibrant Greenmarket Square with its daily market, the Company Gardens, the Houses of Parliament and the country's oldest building - the 17th century castle. Continue to the iconic Table Mountain which looks out over the city and the Cape Peninsula. As you come down from the mountain, you will make a stop at Bo-Kaap, home to the Cape Malay community, with its brightly coloured houses and photogenic cobbled streets. From here, either return to your hotel or you continue to the Waterfront to explore the restaurants and shops at leisure.

Overnight: Kensington Place

Day 9 - uThando and Robben Island
This morning you will have the opportunity to visit one of the country's most successful community projects, uThando. In order to showcase some of the projects funded by uThando and to offer an insight into the work being done to uplift the deprived in South Africa, guests may visit the rambling townships around Cape Town, with particular emphasis on at least three of the social development projects. The visits are designed in such a way as to educate, inspire and inform while also respecting the privacy and dignity of the people concerned.

This afternoon you will visit the infamous Robben Island. This fascinating excursion begins at the Clock Tower, also known as the Nelson Mandela Gateway, in the V&A Waterfront before sailing across to the island. Robben Island was a training and defence station in World War 2, and has also served as a place of exile, isolation and imprisonment, which became world famous as the prison where Nelson Mandela was held for 18 years. Today it is a museum and World Heritage Site which acts as a pivotal point of South African heritage. It runs educational programmes for schools and facilitates tourism development - a moving reminder of the price paid for freedom. As the ferry arrives at the Island, you are joined by your local guide, someone who spent time on Robben Island during the Apartheid years and is thus able to give a special and often moving account of the experience. You will also see the prison cell where Nelson Mandela spent a great part of his life. After a most interesting time of gathering 'behind the scenes' history, return by ferry to the V&A Waterfront.

Day 10 - Winelands
After breakfast you will be collected by your guide and head out to the Winelands. Enjoy a visit to the Victor Verster Prison (where Nelson Mandela was held) followed by two wine-tasting's on two different wine farms. At the end of the day, continue to Franschhoek where you will check in to Le Quartier Français.

The scenic region of the Winelands centres on three individual towns. Often cited as the culinary capital of South Africa, French Hugenot Franschhoek is noted for its abundance of delightful bistros and street cafes.  Paarl is beautifully situated at the foot of the imposing Helderberg mountains whilst South Africa's oldest town, Stellenbosch, sits at the heart of the Winelands. These towns are surrounded by impressive wine estates renowned for their award winning wines. Just an hour from Cape Town the region is rich in beauty, history, Cape Dutch architecture and oenological heritage.  

Le Quartier Franҫais is an exclusive five star boutique hotel perfectly located in the centre of Franschhoek in the Western Cape. Le Quartier Franҫais is tucked away from the main street, surrounded by gorgeous secluded gardens and beautiful mountain views. With 23 luxurious rooms and suites divided over five room types, Le Quartier Franҫais draws a range of discerning travellers. Rooms and suites feature air-conditioning and under-floor heating, iPod docking station, flatscreen TV, DVD Player and DVD library, wood burning fireplaces, tea and coffee trays and complimentary WiFi. Bathrooms are all en-suite with separate baths and showers, luxurious amenities and marble finishes.

Known for its outstanding restaurants, at Le Quartier Franҫais a complete gastronomic journey can be experienced. Enjoy a choice of award winning, cutting-edge cuisine at The Tasting Room and the Bread & Wine Vineyard Restaurant which opens daily for lunch. Further facilities include The Treatment Room, The Screening Room (in-house cinema), the indigenous and unusual herb and sculpture Garden, and exquisite grounds with pool.

Overnight: Le Quartier Francais

Day 11 - Depart
Private transfer to Cape Town Airport, for your international flight home.

 

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PRICING

This optional four night extension is available from £1,123 / $1,885 per person based on two people sharing. This exclude the internal flight to Cape Town. Alternative extension itineraries can be arranged on a tailor-made basis. Please contact our South Africa specialist, Albee Yeend, on +44 (0)1242 787806 to discuss your requirements. 

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