South Africa with a Twist

9 days

Did you know that the term ‘Big 5’ was coined by Africa’s legendary hunters?

They may have been the mortal enemies of men like Ernest Hemingway but on this Safari, the Big 5 are the jewels in the crown of Sabi Sand Game Reserve. You will marvel at their incredible beauty, as you meet, face to face in their natural habitat, on game drives and walks alongside an armed ranger.

Cape Town is a vibrant, colorful, and quirky cultural counterfoil to the African bush. A wonderful halfway house before you dive into the heady pleasures of wine country where, in the Franschhoek Valley, you can freely explore the vineyards on foot, bicycle and horseback.

When the French Huguenots were first gifted this corner of the Cape by the Dutch government it was called Elephant’s Corner due to the huge numbers of elephants that roamed the valley. French cuisine may not have been quite to the elephants’ taste (they soon migrated over the mountains), but we think you will disagree and declare the valley home to some of the most innovative food and wine on the planet.

The Rothschild Safaris Travel Designers have added yet another sublime change of pace to this itinerary with a visit to the remote and striking Kalahari. Tswalu is home to stunning scenery along with prolific desert adapted wildlife. Indoor and outdoor showers, open fires and private sundecks will draw you close to the heart of Africa and truly spoil you for other adventures.

Because these are the experiences you came for. The Africa you will want to return to.

{this itinerary is only a suggestion – our Guest Itineraries are designed exclusively and confidentially}


  • Day & Night game drives through private game reserves
  • Game viewing in the private Sabi Sand Reserve
  • Bush walks through the remote Southern Kalahari Game Reserve
  • Archaeological site excursions
  • Table Mountain
  • Cape Peninsula and the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve
  • Exploration through the Cape Winelands
  • Horseback Safari
  • Sleep out under the stars



Flight to Sabi Sand Reserve, Savanna Game Lodge

This best South African Safari starts with a flight into Johannesburg, then a shared charter flight to Sabi Sand Reserve, met on arrival for transfer to Savanna Game Lodge. After settling in, lunch will be served with high tea to follow. Before the day ends you will embark on your first game drive. During your stay the wildlife you are likely to encounter includes elephant, lion, leopard, large herds of buffalo, rhino, zebra, giraffe, wildebeest, kudu and the rare wild dogs. This evening, you enjoy a welcome to Africa dinner under the stars, sample a variety of exotic local dishes and enjoy a traditional tribal dance around the campfire.


Sabi Sand Reserve – Traditional Bush Walk (optional), Game Drive & Night Drive

A light breakfast will be served before leaving for your morning game activity. You may choose to either enjoy a traditional bush walk, a fantastic opportunity to track game on foot and learn more about the smaller creatures and flora of the region. Back at camp you enjoy a full English breakfast spread. After high tea you will head out on your late afternoon game drive, returning after dark and spotting the nocturnal wildlife with your spotlight. Dinner this evening will be a social affair, as you gather around one large table, hosted by your guide, and management.


Flight to Cape Town, Mount Nelson Hotel

Enjoy breakfast and a short game activity this morning before your flight to Cape Town. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to the Mount Nelson Hotel. This superb location at the foot of Table Mountain is just a short stroll from downtown. Your flight from Sabi Sand should arrive sometime early afternoon. Settle into your accommodations, and the balance of this South African Safari day you will spend at your leisure. The Cape is a haven for lovers of fine cuisine, and plenty of quaint cafes and bars. This evening you may choose to dine at the hotel or venture out to enjoy some exotic dishes at an authentic café.


Cape Town, Touring Cape Peninsula & Table Mountain

After breakfast, you set out with your guide on one of the most beautiful drives in the world to Cape Point and the peninsula. The first stop is a cable car ride up to the top of Table Mountain. Along the coastal road, granite boulders serve as lookout points toward the Twelve Apostles, Table Mountain, and the beach of Camps Bay. Pass through charming fishing villages and harbors, looking out for the epic Southern Right Whales. It’s here at the Good Hope Nature Reserve where the whales come to mate and give birth, often resulting in breached whales. Stopping at Boulders Beach, enjoy a walk to experience the only penguins to be found on the African continent. For the more adventurous, you may kayak to them or take a boat ride out to Seal Island. Return to your hotel in the late afternoon.


Cape Winelands, La Cotte – Touring the Cape Winelands

Enjoy a delicious full breakfast at your hotel and then head out to your next destination, the Cape Winelands. For the day we have selected a few small, intimate wineries where you will enjoy tastings and a cellar tour. One of the wine estates we will take you to date back to 1685, making this one of the oldest estates in South Africa. Explore the historically preserved town of Stellenbosch, with neo-Dutch and modern-Victorian architecture. After a day of sampling fine wines paired with cheese & chocolates, your guide will drop you off at your accommodation, La Cotte, set in the valley surrounded on three sides by majestic mountain ranges. We recommend you dine at Le Quartier Francais.


Cape Winelands, Day of exploration in the wine country

Today is at your leisure to fully explore and indulge in the quaint village of Franschhoek. This little village boasts a distinctly French ambience with its many boutiques, jewelry and specialty art galleries. Should you wish to sample more fine Cape wines, the Franschhoek Wine Tram hop on and off is a fun way to go as you please and indulge in some of Franschhoek’s finest vineyards. The Cape Cuisine tour embarks on a voyage of discovery as you get to experience the various cuisines that match the host of cultures in Cape Town, sampling various food and beverages that are synonymous with the many South African cultures including Dutch, Cape Malay, Cape Colored, Xhosa, Winelands farmers, French, English and Game Farmers. You may wish to take a scenic helicopter flight around the peninsula or through the mountains of the Cape. The list is endless- mountain biking, quad biking, sea kayaking and much more. Tonight, we suggest you enjoy dinner at La Petite Colombe.


Best South African Safari – Flight to Kalahari Reserve, Tswalu Motse, High Tea & Game Drive

Before you fly out today, you may wish (time permitting) to indulge in a treatment at one of the nearby wellness spas in the village. You will then transfer to Cape Town for your shared charter flight to Tswalu, approximately 2-hours. Arrive at the barefoot luxury of Tswalu in time for lunch, a short siesta, high tea and then head out on an afternoon game activity. With no set route or times, you determine your own adventure, discovering endangered species along the way. Arrive back at camp for dinner. You may wish to choose a fine South African wine from the well-stocked walk-in wine cellar. Using local ingredients, the chef excels at adding an elegant twist to South African traditions.


Kalahari Reserve, Guided Bush Walk & Horseback Safari

After a hearty breakfast, you leave with your guide for a walk that is guaranteed to get you even closer to the land. Touch the vegetation, learn about each plant’s extraordinary properties, inspect nests and burrows and examine the smallest insect. You may walk up to a meerkat colony as they first emerge to warm themselves in the sunshine, listen to the sights and sounds as the desert changes before your eyes. This afternoon, your South African horseback safari takes you across the grassy plains and rolling dunes, allowing you to get close to buffalo, hartebeest, kudu and mountain zebra. Accommodating riders of all abilities and levels, today’s activities are created around you. After a full day experiencing the Kalahari exactly as the early explorers would, you return to camp in time to freshen up and enjoy another fabulous meal prepared by Chef Alewyn Malan.


Kalahari Reserve, Bush Breakfast, Game Drive, Sleep out

Days begin early in the bush, just after dawn you head out on a game drive to experience wildlife at its most active. Just when you start to feel hungry, you come around the corner to discover ‘The real ‘Out of Africa’ bush breakfast. A bush kitchen with campfire, table, chairs, chilled sparkling wine and fresh-pressed juices. Enjoy your hot prepared breakfast in the most stunning location you could imagine. Continue with your game drive back to camp. A few hours to enjoy the outdoor heated swimming pool, or a sanctuary spa treatment. High tea and then head out on another game activity, a game drive or you may wish to enjoy another horseback safari. Tonight, you will sleep out under the stars on a raised platform and a thatched overhang, outdoor toilet, basin and shower all just a short distance away along a walkway lit by lamplight. The simple bush furniture completes the feeling of barefoot luxury. Before you go to sleep, we highly recommend you roll the bed onto the open deck with thousands of stars above you.

DAY 10

Flight to Johannesburg & Departure

Today you leave the Kalahari concluding the best South African safari and head back home or maybe continue on to other parts of Africa. If you decide to get up early, you may squeeze in one last game drive. After breakfast, you will depart on your shared charter flight to Johannesburg where your Southern Africa experience ends. Your international flight should be booked out of Johannesburg no earlier than late afternoon.