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South Africa is made for groups. The country offers a kaleidoscope of activities and experiences both cultural/historical and nature-based. Globetrotters can see the battlefields of the Boer War, hear the stories of Apartheid and the struggle for freedom, learn about the traditions of the native South Africans, the Cape Malay, Indians, and Afrikaners, explore the stunning coastal regions and high mountains, and of course keep their eyes peeled for wildlife in the famous game parks. South Africa’s stunning array of experiences will not disappoint.
Here are our picks for “the big five” must-do experiences for the adventurous group travelling to South Africa:
South Africa is home to a diverse collection of wildlife regions and game reserves. With geography ranging from deserts to forests, including wide open savannahs, rolling fertile hills and coastal plains, the reserves teem with wildlife, bird species, and diverse natural habitats. For the ultimate bush experience, stay the night at one of South Africa’s famous game lodges, enhancing your wildlife experience with a little downtime pampering. Just be sure to pack your khakis and (perhaps) pith helmet for when it’s time to get out into the wild!
A typical day starts with an early morning game drive in an open-air safari vehicle to search out the game. This might include elephants, giraffes, rhinos, lions, zebra, antelope, and warthogs. Guests then return to camp for a hearty breakfast and time to relax with fellow group members and enjoy the lodge facilities. Later in the afternoon, there is another game drive before the sun sets, which on a safari means one thing. Back to the lodge for a much needed sundowner and sumptuous dinner!
As one of the world’s largest animals, the elephant is a thing of wonder. In South Africa’s famous Kruger National Park, elephant sightings are plentiful, but becoming an ‘elephant whisperer,’ even for a short while, is a unique experience. Visiting this unique conservation centre gives you the opportunity to interact with six rescued African elephants. Under the guidance of an experienced handler, Globetrotters are able to touch, feed and learn more about these gentle giants.
With such a complex history, the story of South Africa is not complete without embracing the life and times of its liberator, Nelson Mandela. To walk in his footsteps, an itinerary must include an in-depth tour of Soweto on the outskirts of Johannesburg and a visit to Robben Island, a short ferry ride away from downtown Cape Town. In Soweto, we will learn about the full impact of Apartheid with visits to the former homes of Winnie Mandela, Bishop Tutu, and Nelson Mandela. On Robben Island, our guide may be a former inmate as we solemnly stroll the paths and prison hallways that echo the voices of the long struggle for South Africa’s future.
Any group that wants to indulge their passion for wine cannot go past the Cape Winelands north of Cape Town. Whether you’re a professional sommelier or just a lover of the grape in all its forms, the Cape Winelands around Stellenbosch and Frankschoek offer a wide selection of welcoming cellar doors specializing in both red and white varieties. Wine tastings, behind the scenes touring, wine classes with the local vintner, strolling amongst the vines and degustation meals are all possible in idyllic settings of old country estates and lush, rolling hills.
No trip to South Africa would be complete without a journey by road along the Garden Route from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth. It is a nature lover’s paradise with 20 million year old formations in the Cango Caves in Oudtshoorn, a vast array of flora and fauna in the Featherbed Nature Reserve near Knysna, sheltered beaches and lagoons along the shoreline, and lush forests and dizzying views from a wide variety of vantage points.
No group is too big, too small or too unusual for the tour planning experts in Goway’s dedicated GroupsOnly Department!
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