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Cape Blue Train Victoria Falls Madikwe

Cape Blue Train Victoria Falls Madikwe holidays 18 nights start from £6080 per person including scheduled flights and sharing a double room.

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South Africa

This vast country is undoubtedly one of the most culturally and geographically diverse places on earth. Fondly known by locals as the ‘Rainbow Nation’, South Africa has 11 official languages and its multicultural inhabitants are influenced by a fascinating mix of African, Asian and European cultures. Spend your days discovering the gourmet restaurants, impressive art and nightlife scenes and fine beaches of Cape Town; enjoying a typical local braai (barbecue) in the Soweto township; browsing the bustling Indian markets in Durban; or sampling some of the world’s finest wines at the myriad wine estates dotted around the picturesque Cape Winelands. Due to its rich and turbulent history there are plenty of historical attractions to explore including the Zululand battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal, the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg and Robben Island, just off the coast of Cape Town. Above all else, South Africa’s attraction lies in its remarkably untamed wilderness with its astonishing range of wildlife roaming freely across massive unfenced game reserves such as the world famous Kruger National Park. With all of this variety on offer, it is little wonder that South Africa has fast become Africa’s most popular tourist destination.

Franschhoek

Idyllically situated in the Cape Winelands, this peaceful country retreat is one of the oldest towns in South Africa. The once sleepy little village was named Franschhoek, meaning “French Corner” as it was founded by French Huguenots who fled Europe and were seeking a secluded hide-out. They found it in the fertile valley of Franschhoek and this heritage is showcased at the fascinating Huguenot Memorial Museum. The Cape Dutch architecture in much of the village remains remarkably well preserved as restrictions have been placed on the extent of renovations and new construction in order to preserve the spirit of the original settlers. The town’s proximity to Cape Town allows for pleasant day trips during which visitors can explore the area’s many world-class wine estates and impressive range of excellent restaurants or simply browse the quaint, upmarket boutiques strewn along the town’s lovely tree-lined avenues.

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Day 1:                    Depart London Heathrow for your flight to Cape Town

Day 2-5:                Mont Rochelle Hotel and Vineyard, Franschhoek

Bed and breakfast are included.

On arrival from your overnight flight, you will be met and transferred to the Mont Rochelle Hotel.

Virgin Limited Edition, The Manor House, Mont Rochelle, South Africa

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Mont Rochelle, Sir Richard Branson’s South African Hotel and Vineyard, is a stunning 22-bedroom hotel and vineyard just under an hour’s drive from Cape Town in the town of Franschhoek in South Africa. Franschhoek is a traditional vineyard town in the Western Cape Province famously known as the French Corner of the Cape and is considered to be the food and wine capital of South Africa.

Escape to this picturesque corner of South Africa at the foot of the Klein Dassenberg Mountain Range for relaxation and a superb culinary experience accompanied by some outstanding wines.

Mont Rochelle has 22 rooms including six suites all arranged around the main building.  The grounds at Mont Rochelle cover 39 hectares (about 100 acres) and you’re welcome to go exploring. A favourite activity for many guests is picnicking on the estate – the kitchen can arrange a well-stocked picnic basket with a chilled bottle of wine (or two!). There are two restaurants, a cosy bar, a spa, a gym and a heated outdoor pool. That’s not forgetting a 37 hectare vineyard and wine cellar of course!

Cape Town

Resting at the confluence of the Indian and Atlantic Ocean, sandwiched between the slopes of the iconic Table Mountain and the glistening sapphire waters of Table Bay, the exceptionally scenic city of Cape Town is in a class of its own. Some cities boast rich culture, vibrant nightlife, a cosmopolitan atmosphere and extraordinary architecture, while others boast breathtaking landscapes and extraordinary natural wonders. Cape Town, is lucky enough to be blessed with all of these attractions and so much more. With its bustling harbour, world-class beaches, top-notch vineyards, and its mountainous surroundings brimming with diverse flora and fauna, Cape Town consistently captivates the hearts of all who visit.

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Day 5-10:             Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa, Cape Town

Bed and breakfast are included.

A transfer will be provided for you from Mont Rochelle to the Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa.

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Named for the ruggedly beautiful mountain range that towers behind it, the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa is characterized by clean-lined design and luxury. Situated on the Atlantic Ocean where the sea meets the sky, the hotel, with its brilliant white façade, is used by sailors as a nautical navigation point. Cape Town lies just 15 minutes away by complimentary shuttle, and outdoor activities include walks and picnics in Table Mountain Park, helicopter tours and whale watching. Equally tempting is a salt-glow rub or a pine-and-rosemary-infused body wrap in the Sanctuary Spa. Enjoy a sundowner on the terrace at sunset before dinner at the award-winning Azure, and drift off to the sounds of the ocean in an airy room done in contemporary Cape style with all the classic European comforts.

Recommended activities here include:

Robben Island: An icon of struggle, freedom and hope made famous by Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment here.

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Table Mountain: Without a doubt it is Table Mountain that makes Cape Town the unique city it is. Rising up over 1000m above sea level, it is the icon that makes Cape Town instantly recognizable. It is a symbol, a playground, a spiritual retreat and a big draw card for tourists. So intertwined with the identity of Cape Town is Table Mountain that a visit to the city isn’t complete without having walked or taken the cable car to the top.

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Cape Point Nature Reserve: Cape Point lies at the south-western tip of Africa and offers great views, a restaurant and a funicular which takes you up to the old lighthouse.  The spectacular scenery coupled with zebras, baboons, deserted beaches and plenty of fynbos to make this one of the Cape’s must see destinations.

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Boulders Penguin Colony: The Boulders Visitor Centre is home to the famous colony of Jackass Penguins, so called for their hilarious braying call. This is a truly special experience and Table Mountain National Park staff are knowledgeable and offer guided tours. After you have fallen in love with the penguins head to the secluded Boulders Beach and take a swim in the comparatively warm waters of the False Bay.

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Clifton Beach: A series of four idyllic beaches separated by massive granite boulders. Clifton is protected from the wind by the mountains and is the best place to be when the Cape’s notorious South Easter is blowing.

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The Blue Train

The Blue Train has an aura of mystique about it. Kings and presidents have travelled on this magnificent moving five-star hotel.

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Its very name has become synonymous with the ultimate in luxury travel and personal service. As the ever-changing scenery flashes past the windows, guests can savour exquisite meals freshly prepared on board by Executive Chefs and complemented by the best wines South Africa, if not the world, has to offer.

The suites on The Blue Train live up to its reputation for magnificence and splendour; featuring the finest bed linen, marble tiles and gold fittings in the bathrooms – sheer opulence that will ensure that guests will have a memorable experience.

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The Blue Train offers far more than just a journey. It is an all-inclusive experience offering a combination of unsurpassed luxury travel, five star-accommodation, fine cuisine, personalised butler service and routes that offer breathtaking views of the countryside.

So take a journey into a timeless world of grace, elegance and romance, where spectacular scenery stirs your imagination and luxurious comfort soothes your body and soul.

Day 10:                 The Blue Train

Your early morning transfer will have you to the station in plenty of time for check-in.

07:30
Register and check-in at The Blue Train Lounge, Cape Town Station. Guests enjoy pre-departure snacks and drinks.

08:30
Boarding starts.  Butlers usher guests to their suites. Suite orientation done by butlers.  The Blue Train departs from Cape Town Station

10:30 – 12:30
First sitting for Brunch

12:30 – 14:30
Second sitting for Brunch

14:35 – 15:15
The Blue Train arrives at Matjiesfontein for a 45 minute off-the-train excursion.  On arrival at Matjiesfontein guests are invited for a glass of sherry at the bar.  The sherry glass engraved with The Blue Train logo is a memento for guests to keep. The Victoria buildings and original nineteenth century London lampposts impart to the traveller, the uncanny sense of entering a colonial time warp – an oasis suspended in a different age.

15:20
The Blue Train departs for its northbound journey to Pretoria.

15:30
High tea is served in the Lounge Car.

17:00
After an exciting interlude guests are free to refresh themselves and enjoy pre-dinner drinks at any one of our lounges.

18:30
First sitting dinner.

20:30
Second sitting dinner

On day 11, breakfast is served in the train restaurant car on a first come first served basis, or alternatively in your suite on request.

Arrival into Pretoria station is approximately 1500 when guests will usher guests to their transfers.

Pretoria

South Africa’s capital is home beautiful Jacaranda Trees, the Union Buildings, museums, embassies and the country’s most successful rugby franchise, The Blue Bulls.

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Day 11:                 Sheraton Hotel, Pretoria

Bed and breakfast are included.

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The Sheraton Pretoria Hotel offers 175 luxurious rooms and suites, all designed to guarantee maximum comfort and hospitality from the moment you arrive. The hotel includes a cutting edge business centre, a Health Club, with a gym as well as sauna’s, heated swimming pool and massage rooms. The Magnolia Restaurant is open for all day dining for sumptuous buffets at breakfast, lunch and dinner. As a light meal alternative the ever-lively Tiffins Bar & Lounge caters for all tastes.

Zimbabwe

A beautiful country bordering South African and Botswana, Zimbabwe is known for dramatic landscapes and diverse wildlife.  Any visit to Zimbabwe must be a personal choice but the country is fascinating and has much to offer visitors.  The most famous location is of course Victoria Falls.

Victoria Falls

Resting on the southern banks of the mighty Zambezi river at the western end of the eponymous falls of the same name, the popular tourist town of Victoria Falls is compact enough to walk around and makes and ideal base for travellers exploring the seventh wonder of the world.  Around two third of the falls can easily be viewed from the Zimbabwean side, and, whilst the falls are undoubtedly the star attraction, the surrounding area provides both adventure seekers and sightseers with plenty of opportunities to warrant a longer stay.  Popular activities include scenic helicopter or microlight flights over the falls, bungee jumping off the Victoria Falls Bridge, white water rafting (seasonal) and day trips into Chobe National Park.  The town itself offers some excellent accommodation and restaurant options as well as an eclectic variety of African curios and authentic art sold by the friendly Zimbabwean locals who are wonderfully welcoming and eager to help you enjoy your stay.

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Victoria Falls sunset, View from Zambia

 

Day 12-14:           Victoria Falls Safari Lodge

Bed and breakfast are included.

On arrival into Livingstone airport, you will be met and transferred to Victoria Falls Safari Lodge and Suites.

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Victoria Falls Safari Lodge is renowned as a supreme property at “Wonder of the World” destination Victoria Falls, and is showcased in numerous awards of high repute, including the 2012 Top 10 Resorts & Safari Camps in Africa as voted by the distinguished international Conde Nast Traveller magazine.  The hotel is renowned locally and has been awarded Best Safari Lodge in Zimbabwe no less than 17 times in succession.

The 72-room Victoria Falls Safari Lodge is rich and ambience and offers sublime hospitality. With views of the waterhole and wild African bush, it’s hard to beat this prime setting that is perfectly positioned to enjoy activities above and below the Falls. The staff are warm and personable providing faultless delivery to guests during their stay.

Recommended activities here include:

Victoria Falls National Park: The Victoria Falls National Park is located on the Zimbabwean side of the border and boasts beautiful hiking trails, a wealth of wildlife and spectacular views of ‘The Smoke That Thunders’, as local people call the falls. Permeated by the fine mist that rises from the falls as they plummet 100 metres into the gorge below, the reserve encompasses 23 square kilometres of verdant rainforest, where delicate ferns, tangled monkey vines, tropical palms and mahogany trees thrive in the moist environment. Resident game species include white rhinos, elephants, buffalos and antelope, as well as hippos and crocodiles that lurk in the rivers and pools.

Microlight over Vic Falls: The microlight flights offer unique, uninhabited and breathtaking views of the Falls and the spectacular gorge that the Zambezi has carved into the surrounding landscape over many thousands of years. The 12 to 15 minute short microlight flight takes off over the Zambezi River and on towards The Victoria Falls circle over the Falls and the islands then returns to Maramba Aerodrome.

The 25 to 30 minute long microlight flight takes off over the Zambezi River and on towards The Victoria Falls, circles over the Falls and the islands. It flies upstream along the Zambezi River to Kalai Island, low level over the Mosi-oa-Tunya Zoological Park for unique game viewing and then returns to Maramba Aerodrome.

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Sunset Cruise: The sunset cruise on the Zambezi River is a definite must on any trip to Victoria Falls. Relax with a sundowner and snacks as you gaze out onto the banks of the river. Have your camera ready to capture one of the most amazing sunsets in Africa.

You’ll be sure to spot wildlife animals as they come down to the river for a drink after a hot day in the Zambezi National Park (Zimbabwe) and the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park (Zambia). Sightings of elephant, giraffe and other resident game are common. There’s always an abundance of hippos and crocodiles. Birdlife is superb and the Fisheagles will usually fill the scene with their calls.

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Johannesberg

Johannesburg is one of Africa’s biggest and most vibrant cities. It is the economic capital of Africa and the gateway to Southern Africa. Although not as famous as other South African destinations, there is plenty to do in Johannesburg and nearby Pretoria. The old city is a multi-cultural mixture of traditional medicine shops, Chinese restaurants, taxi ranks and ultra modern skyscrapers. There are excellent museums, art galleries and organised tours of historical and political interest. The shopping is Southern Africa’s best and the many restaurants cater for all tastes. The nearby township of Soweto is Johannesburg’s most popular tourist attraction.

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Day 14:                 The Residence, Johannesberg

Bed and breakfast are included.

On arrival into Johannesberg airport, you will be met and transferred to the Residence Hotel

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Outside is the new in, amongst lush landscaping and cascading bougainvillea covered terraces. You are now in the heart of Johannesburg’s suburban seat of power – daily retreat to the most recogniseable South African names and faces. This is new world glamour and old world charm. This is the Residence, Houghton.

Madikwe Game Reserve

The Madikwe Game Reserve is the newest of South Africa’s prime safari destinations. A public-private partnership resulted in the creation of this Big Five game reserve on almost worthless cattle farms and today it is home to 66 mammal species. Madikwe is a haven of amazing diversities. The landscape has mountainous areas, plateaux, rocky hills, a perennial river, seasonal wetlands, a variety of sandy and clay areas, bushveld, Kalahari veld and savanna areas. The rich diversity of vegetation ensures a wide range of game and the topography offers ideal game viewing opportunities in a malaria-free environment.

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There is a good chance of seeing the Magnificent Seven which comprises the Big Five as well as the rare and endangered wild dog and cheetah. The reserve is home to the largest elephant population outside the Kruger National Park, black and white rhino, and the biggest disease free herd of buffalo in the country. In addition to these, one may see brown and spotted hyena and all other South African predators. A multitude of plains game includes giraffe, zebra, springbok and sable.  There are also large populations of wildebeest, impala and warthogs. For bird watchers Madikwe is an unmissable destination with the latest official bird list boasting an incredible 340 species.

Day 15-18:           Tuningi Safari Lodge, Madikwe Game Reserve

Full board and activities are included.

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On arrival to Madikwe you will be transferred to Tuningi Safari Lodge where full board and 2 game drives per day are included.

The 5 star Tuningi Safari Lodge is set in a valley on the Western side of the Madikwe Game Reserve.  The theme of the interiors is “Colonial African Chic” and the main lodge offers beautiful indoor and outdoor lounges, an elegant dining room and a magnificent rim flow pool that overlooks a waterhole.
This is all interlinked by a sweeping wooden deck that leads to a boma under an ancient fig tree.  Perfect for dinners around a blazing log fire.  Tuningi is one of the very few lodges in South Africa that welcomes children and by doing so avails them to the wonders of nature, wildlife and the delicate eco-system.

Day 18:                 Departure

A transfer will be arrange to the airstrip at Madikwe for your light aircraft transfer back to Johannesberg.  Connect to your interational flight back to London Heathrow

Day19:                  Arrival back to London Heathrow.

Contact our expert staff for more information about Cape Town, Blue Train, Victoria Falls, and Madikwe holidays or holidays to South Africa, Blue Train South Africa or South Africa safaris on 01444 225640 or e-mail us at info@visionsofafrica.co.uk