ENAJA SAFARIS AND TOURS, INC.
SOUTH AFRICA: WHALES, SHARKS, ELEPHANTS, AND MORE
***IMPORTANT INFORMATION – US passport holders do not require visas to enter South Africa BUT must have at least two empty pages in their passports for each country visited. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of departure from the last country visited.***
(Click on each description box below to see detailed information about the activities and lodging.)
Day 1: City Lodge, Johannesburg
Day 1: City Lodge, Johannesburg
- Upon arrival in Johannesburg, we transfer to the City Lodge located “at” the airport for overnight. Depending upon the arrival time in Johannesburg, there may be time for an afternoon tour of Soweto before dinner.
Included: breakfast and tour
Located above the multi-story Parkade 2, at the airport, the Lodge is convenient to the banking services and wide range of retailers at the airport. The spacious air-conditioned rooms have queen or twin beds, flat screen TVs, tea and coffee making facilities, and safes. The bathrooms are en-suite with bath and separate shower. A full English breakfast is included. There is a coffee shop for light meals, a pool and fitness facility. Same day laundry is available.
The Apartheid Museum
The Apartheid Museum opened in 2001 and is acknowledged as the pre-eminent museum in the world dealing with 20th century South Africa, at the heart of which is the apartheid story. The museum is a superb example of design, space, and landscape that offers a unique South African experience. The exhibits, assembled and organized by a team of curators, filmmakers, historians and designers, include provocative film footage, photographs, text panels and artifacts illustrating the events and human stories that are part of the epic saga known as apartheid. A series of 22 individual exhibition areas takes the visitor through a dramatic emotional journey that tells the story of a state-sanctioned system based on racial discrimination, and the struggle of the majority to overthrow this tyranny.
The Hector Pieterson Museum
The Hector Pieterson Memorial and museum opened in Soweto in 2002, not far from the spot where 12-year old Hector was shot during the Soweto uprising. Today it is a symbol of resistance to the brutality of the apartheid government. On June 16, 1976, school children had gathered to protest the imposition of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in township schools. There are contradictory accounts of just who gave the first command to shoot, but as children began singing Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika, and before they could be dispersed, the police opened fire. Some 20 children died in the ensuing pandemonium – among them Hector Pieterson. Due to a globally published photograph of the dying Hector being carried by a fellow student, Hector has become an iconic image of the day.
Days 2 –6: Rocktail Beach Camp
Days 2-6: Rocktail Beach Camp
- After breakfast we check in for our scheduled flight to Richards Bay, are met by staff, and drive to Rocktail Beach Camp for 5 days of diving and other activities. (An estimated cost of this flight is included but may vary according to the exchange rate.)
- Diving schedule to be determined each day depending on weather conditions. Dives are approximately $35 but vary according to the Rand/US conversion rate. Dives must be paid for directly by cash or credit card.
- For non-divers, there are several optional activities that can be arranged by the camp and our stay includes two camp activities a day (Lake Sibaya, Lala Nek snorkeling, and guided forest walks).
- Free day for diving and/or other activities
- We can expect to see sharks, whales, dolphins, whale sharks, and so much more. Be sure to check out the dive site information either at Blue Dolphin or on enaja.com.
Included: All meals, two scheduled camp activities per day, laundry, scheduled transfers between the camp and Coastal Cashews, but excludes all drinks and park fees. Transfers to Gugulesizwe are included but extra activities there (a cultural village experience, Zulu dancing and/or quad biking) are booked at Camp and paid directly to them.
Rocktail Beach Camp
Rocktail is set back in and shaded by the sanctuary of the lush Maputaland Coastal Forest covering the ancient dunes that make up the edge of South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal coast. With the Maputaland Marine Reserve just offshore and the beach a brisk 20-minute walk from the camp, there are plenty of seaside adventures just waiting to be experienced. Each of its 17 rooms has an en-suite bathroom and an open-feel indoor shower. Seven of these are family units with a shared bathroom and two bedrooms for two adults and two children. The main area boasts a central dining room, bar and lounge with large wrap-around veranda, a raised viewing deck, wine cellar, large pool, curio shop and children’s playroom.
These optional activities are at additional cost paid directly at camp and average about $40 per person:
- Lake Sibaya Excursion
- Lake Sibaya, South Africa’s largest natural freshwater lake, offers sightings of KwaZulu-Natal’s second largest population of hippo and crocodiles while sipping a sundowner.
- Gugulesizwe Cultural Village
- At joint-venture Gugulesizwe, authentic aspects of Zulu and Tonga culture and tradition can be observed through architecture, food and traditional lifestyles. Quad biking is also available here.
- Tembe Elephant Park
- There is a place in Africa where the wild elephants still roam. The legendary Ivory Route where the great tuskers still tramp their ancient pathways through dense sand-forest and tall yellow grass. This is Tembe Elephant Park, a 300 square kilometer reserve between Zululand and Mozambique, home to Africa’s largest elephants as well as the smallest antelope, the suni. The Big Five also find their home here – lion, leopard, black and white rhino and buffalo, as well as more than 340 bird species and myriad other animals and plants. It is a world of hot silence and white sand, where the busy modern world ceases to exist and only the rising and setting of the sun marks the passage of time. This is where you will find the Africa of story and legend, of adventure and myth. Depart 7am for breakfast at Masizwane Lodge, then a 2.5hr game drive in the Park before heading back to Rocktail in time for lunch.
Days 7-10: Phinda Forest
Days 7-10: Phinda Forest
- This morning, we have a 2-hour drive to Phinda Game Reserve. After checking in, there will be time for a game activity.
- Arrange your own schedule for game drives, and/or game walks.
- Another day of game viewing or optional camp activities.
- Our last day of big game viewing.
Phinda Forest Lodge
Phinda Private Game Reserve encompasses an impressive 56,800 acres of prime wilderness in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and showcases one of the continent’s finest game viewing experiences featuring Africa’s Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino). You can even track black rhino on foot. Set deep in the heart of a rare and beautiful dry sand forest, the spectacular Forest Lodge fuses architectural design and conservation. The creation of this award-winning safari lodge was an exemplary exercise in building eco-sensitive structures with a light footprint (not one tree was felled during construction). Inventively designed in Zulu Zen style, each handcrafted, glass-encased suite is a combination of glass, wood and minimalist design incorporating high-gloss wooden floors, richly tactile fabrics and crimson Zulu artifacts. Each of the 16 private stilted suites features luxurious en-suite bathrooms with slate hand basins, and viewing decks where guests can awake to the sight of graceful nyala and duiker outside the glass walls. Unwind in the lodge’s sparkling rim flow swimming pool, or relax in the Lodge sitting areas with expansive viewing decks affording panoramic views of the game-filled plains.
Included: All meals, soft drinks, house wines, local brand spirits and beers, teas and coffees, refreshments on game drives, laundry, safari activities, and 1-hour nature walks accompanied by experienced armed trackers (subject to availability).
Days 11-14: Portswood Hotel, Cape Town
Days 11-14: Portswood Hotel, Cape Town
- After breakfast, we transfer by road to Durban’s International Airport for our flight to Cape Town where our driver/guide transfers us to our hotel. (This flight is included in the trip cost but the cost may vary).
- Today we have a private full-day Peninsula and Shark Safari, including a light lunch and entrance fees for Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, Cape Funicular, Boulders Penguin Colony and Chapman’s Peak.
- A day at leisure to explore Cape Town and a back-up day for the Peninsula/Shark trip in case of bad weather.
- We have a private full-day tour of the wine lands located near Cape Town. Lunch and entrance fees for wine tasting, cellar tours and museums are included.
Originally built as part of the convict’s station, today The Portswood is the type of place where you are likely to want to extend your stay. Located adjacent to the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, this elegant hotel not only offers superior accommodation in a relaxed atmosphere, but their uniquely personal approach to service will ensure that your stay exceeds all expectations. The guest rooms are decorated in a maritime style and offer air conditioning, free wifi, and satellite TV. Each room has an en-suite bathroom with a bathtub and shower. The poolside terrace offers a charming setting for a light snack or drinks, and the Quarterdeck Restaurant with its Malaysian cuisine is donned with Cape Malay decorations.
Victoria and Alfred Waterfront
Sitting between Robben Island and Table Mountain in the heart of Cape Town’s working harbor, the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront has become South Africa’s most visited destination. Enjoy exciting shopping and entertainment venues that are intermingled with imaginative office locations, world-class hotels, restaurants, pubs, luxury apartments, and the occasional seal.
Private Full Day Peninsula and Shark Safari Tour in False Bay
- Travel through many famous coastal towns of the Cape with their dramatic coastline.
- Search for the ocean’s elusive super-predator – the Great White Shark!
- Witness Great White Sharks launching out of the water whilst hunting seals (breaching).
- Visit the African penguin colony at Boulders Beach.
- Spot wildlife in the Table Mountain National Park, and explore the rocky coastline, the Cape fynbos vegetation and the south-westernmost point of Africa – Cape Point – and its lighthouse.
We depart our hotel before daybreak heading to Simonstown harbor where we board a boat in search of the ocean’s elusive super-predator, the Great White Shark. We are in the capable hands of international shark experts and experienced marine biologists who interpret the wildlife spectacle as it unfolds.
These operators have studied Great Whites for decades and have produced many acclaimed wildlife documentaries showcasing the incredibly rare behavior of breaching in pursuit of prey – most commonly Cape fur seals. False Bay is one of the few places in the world to witness this unique behavior. Our search for Great Whites will take us past one of their favorite haunts, Seal Island – home to some 60,000 seals and a host of seabirds. This Shark Safari focuses mainly on interaction with the sharks from the boat – with a view to observing natural predatory behavior through the use of a seal decoy. A descent into the cage to view these super-predators underwater is an awe-inspiring experience that will not soon be forgotten (optional).
Snacks and soft drinks are served on board. We return to port at around 12:30 and in time to visit Boulders Beach for another “creature close-up”, this time with a colony of African penguins – the only penguins indigenous to the continent. After lunch at a coastal restaurant we enter the Cape of Good Hope section of the Table Mountain National Park with its unique Cape vegetation and home to birds like African black oystercatchers and Cape sugarbirds as well as to very special animals including Cape mountain zebra, bontebok (both endemic) and the charismatic Cape baboon.
We can climb (or ride the world’s first environmentally friendly funicular) to Cape Point Lighthouse to capture the magical vistas of False Bay, and later stop at the south-westernmost point of Africa: breathtaking Cape Point.
We then head home along the dramatic Atlantic seaboard and navigate the 114 curves of 600m high Chapman’s Peak Drive, passing the picturesque fishing hamlets of Hout Bay, Llandudno and Bakoven (with their ghostly shipwrecks), the towering Twelve Apostles, and on through Camps Bay and Bantry Bay.
Note: Safaris are weather dependent and are at the skipper’s discretion. This is why we have a backup day. A warm jacket and binoculars are strongly recommended.
Private Full Day Wine Lands Tour
- Taste some of South Africa’s finest wines in the beautiful Boland region.
- Visit wine estates according to our preferences.
- Lunch at one of the many classic, award-winning restaurants.
- Explore the rich history and culture of towns such as Stellenbosch and gastronomic Franschhoek.
Wine estates visited will vary according to our preferences, but the tour generally includes the region’s major wine producing areas of Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek. There are many opportunities en route for tastings of world-renowned reds and whites, as well as Cap Classiques – South Africa’s answer to “Champagne.”
After lunch at one of the many classic, award-winning restaurants in the area, we explore the natural and historic heritage in this area, stopping at places like the Afrikaans Language Monument with its panoramic Boland views. Idyllic Franschhoek, nestled in a valley settled by French Huguenots in 1688, is a delight for both antique lovers and gastronomes alike. Stellenbosch, South Africa’s second-oldest town, provides another glimpse of classic 17th century Cape style, with a chance to browse quaint Dorp Street and the many museums, galleries and shops of this lovely university town.
Days 15-16: Harbor House Hotel, Hermanus
Days 15-16: Harbor House Hotel, Hermanus
- Today we check out of our rooms and depart Cape Town for Gansbaai where we board our boat for a morning watching the Great Whites breaching (maybe near the boat) and in the afternoon we dive/snorkel in a tethered shark cage, getting up close to the Great Whites. Once back at our hotel, there is time to stroll around, enjoy the beach, do some shopping, or just relax.
- This is a free day to enjoy the quaint town, its markets, and the beautiful shore, whale watch, or maybe take a hike on the Cliff Walk. This day is a backup for the shark experience. The first Great White Experience is in False Bay and this one is in the ocean – two completely different experiences. If you don’t want to do one or either, there is plenty to do in both Cape Town and Hermanus. Optional tours can be arranged if you plan in advance.
Harbour House Hotel, Hermanus
Harbour House Hermanus, which comprises Harbour House Hotel and Harbour Square Hotel, is located in the heart of the historical village. Harbour House has been modeled after its original design, a thatched roof seaside manor house built in 1920. Being perfectly located above the Old Harbor, the hotel’s understated luxury is offset by the soothing surrounds of the ocean. The magnificent Lookout Terrace invites guests to relax around the infinity pool overlooking the ocean and to savor a sundowner from the pool bar. Rooms are luxuriously appointed and have breathtaking views of the mountain cliffs or the magnificent ocean below. Harbour House is the hub of all activities and facilities. The restaurant, situated in the restored Manor House, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner inspired by abundant local produce and fresh ingredients.
Harbour House Hermanus is within easy walking distance of the town’s top attractions, whale watching sites, markets, restaurants, street cafés and an abundance of protected natural splendor. The hotel’s crowning glory, and arguably the most enjoyable whale-watching site, is the magnificent 18 x 4 meter infinity pool. The beautiful Pavilion provides a relaxed outdoor dining area with long wooden tables, local wine barrels and a traditional vintage winepress. Mint Wellness Salon is situated in the new wing of the hotel where treatments are performed by internationally qualified therapists who offer an array of treatments including massages, facials, manicures and pedicures.
Famous for its champagne air, long stretches of beach, mild climate, rich floral kingdom, and friendly environment, Hermanus offers the best shore-based whale watching in the world. Every year from July to November, the Southern Right Whales offer an endless source of delight as they play, breed, and mate in Walker Bay. Other popular activities available in Hermanus include golf, tennis, squash, canoeing, yachting, diving, surfing, hang gliding, and powerboat racing. Hermanus is on the art route, the wine route and the garden route so specialty shops and boutiques abound. A wide variety of craft and other markets are open daily, all within walking distance. Take a walk on the cliffs and meet the world’s only Whale Crier who alerts you to the whereabouts of the whales by blowing his kelp horn. Enjoy seafood at restaurants on the water’s edge, farm fare on the wine route, traditional South African dishes, and a variety of cuisine at kitchens and pizzerias tucked down quaint side streets. Hermanus quite simply has it all.
Great White Shark Experience – Ocean
The main focus of this tour is a natural interaction with the sharks and every effort is made to treat these animals with the respect they deserve and at the same time try to share their passion with you. The great whites of Seal Island are now world famous for their highly athletic breaches in pursuit of Cape Fur seals, which they hunt in the area. You will observe natural predatory behavior for as long as possible; however it is usually the first hour and half that is the most intense. After this period a short decoy tow using a fake cut out carpet seal is used to try to get the sharks to breach. It is a unique way to elicit predatory behavior and has been very useful in helping to identify different strategies adopted by the different sharks.
Gansbaai is a mere stone’s throw away from the southernmost tip of the African Continent, Cape Agulhas. Dyer Island, close to Gansbaai is one of only two areas in the world where you have an exceptionally good chance of seeing the Great White Shark all year round. Divers and non-divers alike have an opportunity of seeing the Great White Shark. Other wildlife species such as Cape fur seals, Cape gannets, Cape cormorants, African penguins, various whales and dolphins are likely to be seen while on the trip. The luxurious boat has a spacious cabin, private toilet and fresh drinking water.
Gansbaai is approximately a two and a half hour drive from Cape Town. On arrival, you will be offered refreshments and complete an indemnity form before embarking on the vessel. En route to your dive site, an onboard marine biologist will brief you before you get up close and personal with this amazing ocean predator. These operators are involved in shark research, identification and tagging, and will educate you on all aspects of their valuable conservation work before you head out to sea. The boat ride to the diving site will take approximately 15 minutes. Once anchored in the channel, a specially designed shark cage that floats above the surface is lowered into the water. Guests may enter the cage’s inside ring that hovers above the water, descend into the water, and wait for a shark to approach. On average the boat is anchored for 2 hours, but this depends on the shark activity. A light lunch of sandwiches and cold drinks will be served on board before returning to shore. An underwater video-camera can be rented.
Day 17: Cape Town and Home
Day 17: Cape Town and Home
- Depending on the flight time, there may be time for some last minute shopping before our transfer back to Cape Town and on to the airport. Should you want another day or two in the Cape Town area, it can be easily arranged. It is also possible to do an extension for the 3-day PADI Great White Certification…. the only place in the world for this certification. Most flights back to the States stop in Johannesburg. If you would like to do a few days’ extension to the World Famous Victoria Falls (and maybe even another game park), let Ena know. Again, it’s very easy to arrange at either the beginning or end of the main safari.
Cost per person based on double occupancy: $8893 (Single supplement: $2386)
Included on Trip:
– 1 Night at City Lodge on bed & breakfast basis
– 5 Nights at Rocktail Beach Camp on fully inclusive rate (excludes all drinks, laundry & extra activities)
– 4 Nights at Phinda Forest Lodge on fully inclusive rate
– 4 Nights at Portswood Hotel, Cape Town bed and breakfast
– 2 Nights at Harbour House on bed & breakfast rate
Flights: (estimated cost included – may vary depending on rate of exchange between SA Rand/US Dollar
– Johannesburg to Richards Bay
– Durban to Cape Town
Road Transfer as per itinerary
– Private drivers and guides
– Apartheid Museum
– Hector Pieterson Museum/Soweto
– 2 daily game activities at Rocktail
– 2 daily game activities at Phinda
– Full-day Peninsula Tour with Shark experience, including lunch
– Full-day tour of the wine lands, including lunch
– ½ day Shark experience in Hermanus, including lunch
Entrance fees and taxes
Excluded on Trip:
– International flights
– All meals not mentioned above
– All activities not mentioned above, including optional activities
– Travel insurance required for this trip
– Items of a personal nature
– Scuba Diving at Rocktail Beach Camp to be paid directly at Rocktail – approximately $35 per dive
– Park fees (about $10) for diving and shark experiences
and Suggested Extensions
Suggested extensions (Contact Ena for more details):
– Victoria Falls and Hwange Park (Zimbabwe)
– 3-day PADI Great White Shark certification
Call Ena to discuss all things Africa! (336) 408-0662