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South Africa Private Family Safari

Wild Reserves & the Coast

11 days, 12 nights | Safari from $6,498 per person
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Overview

Family Adventures at Africa’s Southern Tip

Whether your family dreams of prowling Cape Town’s hip boutiques or tracking lions through the backcountry veldt, South Africa offers you an unforgettable time together. Easily accessed and safe for all ages, this itinerary through malaria-free regions brims with remarkable landscapes, animals, and cultures, allowing you to pack incredible variety into a single trip.

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Watch great white sharks launch themselves out of the water on a boat cruise to Seal Island. Play on the white-powder beaches of Plettenberg Bay. Try riding ostriches in Oudtshoorn, or share a moment meeting the elephants of Knysna Elephant Sanctuary. Spend an afternoon tracking the Big Five in Amakhala Reserve, or simply immerse yourselves in the stunning flora and fauna of Tsitsikamma National Park. Whatever activities you choose, South Africa will reward you with lifelong family memories.

Safari Style: Private Family Safari
Activities: Animal tracking, coastal walks, whale and dolphin watching, cultural visits, boat rides, horseback riding, game drives
Accommodation: Lodges and boutique hotels
Getting Around: Private vans, 4x4 safari vehicles with guaranteed window seats
When to Visit: Year-round; Jul–Nov for viewing southern right whales; Jun–Aug for mammals; Sep–Oct for newborn animals Read More
Meeting & Departure Point: Cape Town, South Africa / Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Tour Highlights:

  • Meet the squawking giants of Oudtshoorn, the “Ostrich Capital of the World”
  • Surf, swim, hike, and whale-watch along the Garden Route coastline
  • Track big game – day and night, by foot and 4x4 – in a malaria-free zone
  • Explore the striking underground landscapes and limestone formations of Klein Karoo and Cango Caves
  • Discover family-friendly Cape Town: bask on the city’s palm-lined beaches, visit the planetarium and aquarium, or hop a cable car to the top of Table Mountain
  • Choose from countless other family adventures: caving, biking, canoeing, fishing, bungee jumping, horseback riding, surfing, paragliding, even wild meerkat tours!
  • Experienced, friendly, and knowledgeable guide(s) and service of local representative
  • 11 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 5 dinners included
  • Boutique hotels, country lodge, and safari lodge (with private baths) while on tour
  • Airport meet-and-greet service
  • Transportation from the meeting to the departure point
  • All park fees and special events as noted in the itinerary
  • The unbeatable and cumulative experience of the CW Safaris staff
  • Guest Rating:

    The whole trip was fantastic. I don't know how we could have gotten a better experience of South Africa and treated in luxury the whole way.  The staff and guides at each place were 5 star and they went out of their way to make sure our needs were met.
    B. & K. Knowles, Virginia, October 2013

Dates & Prices

Private Family Safari 2015 Pricing

Seasons Number of Travelers
2 3 4 5 6 Single Supplement
Jan 1 - Dec 31 $5,248 $5,248 $5,248 $5,248 $5,248 $780

*Pricing based on double occupancy. Reserve early for best pricing; prices and dates are subject to change.

Children (12 and under)

2015 Dates Number of Children
1 2 3 4 5 6
Jan 1 - Dec 31 $1,248 $1,248 $1,248 $1,248 $1,248 $1,248

Child price based on sharing with two adults. Pricing available for 13 +. Please phone our office.

Itinerary & Accommodations
Day 1 Cape Town

Your expedition begins in Cape Town, the Mother City, a stunning metropolis on the tip of the rugged Cape Coast, with a bustling harbor port and mountains set like jewels along the sparkling Atlantic Ocean. Your transfer from international airport to hotel will be smoothly facilitated by our representatives. At orientation, you will meet your guide. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.

With its majestic backdrop of Table Mountain, Cape Town is considered to be one of the world’s greatest harbor cities. It is a cosmopolitan, multicultural hot spot, with trendy shops, cafes, idyllic beaches, comedy clubs, gourmet cuisines, classical theaters, historic museums, and more—all combining to make Cape Town one of the most desired travel destinations in the world.

Included: Airport arrival transfer and pre departure meeting.

Approximate Travel Time: 25 minutes

Day 2 Cape Town

After breakfast, embark on a full-day tour of Cape Town, including a breathtaking cable-car trip to the top of Table Mountain (weather permitting—if not, we visit the spectacular Two Oceans Aquarium). Discover the country’s thought-provoking past at the SA National Museum; gaze at spectacular stars and planets at the Cape Town Planetarium. A boat ride to Seal Island in Hout Bay, with its village markets and Boulder Beach penguins, provides more family-perfect fun before returning to your hotel for the evening.

Included: Full-day Cape Peninsula exploration / breakfast

Approximate Travel Time: 2 hours

Day 3 Cape Town

Explore the scenic coast and delve deep into the historic heart of Cape Town. Survey the delights of the city, with its street cafes, towering buildings, and historical monuments. Relax in the shade of the tranquil Company Gardens; explore Parliament, City Hall, the Castle of Good Hope, Malay Quarter, and the vibrant Greenmarket Square. Enjoy the vantage point of Signal Hill; then descend to the beautiful, palm-studded beaches of Camps Bay and Clifton. Complete your day with a special dinner event: a feast of dishes from all over Africa!

Included: Half-day Cape Town city tour and leisure time / breakfast and dinner

Day 4 Hermanus – The Cape Whale Coast

Departing from Cape Town, follow the rugged coast road to Hermanus. Nestled between magnificent mountains and the sea, this charming seaside town provides some of the best shore-based whale watching in the world. In season (July to November), witness the giant southern right and humpback whales from shoreline and cliffs. Then embark on an afternoon boat cruise, searching the pristine bay for marine life. The remainder of the afternoon and evening is free to explore Hermanus, with its vibrant local market, museums, and more. At night, your family can enjoy dinner at one of the restaurants near the waterfront.

Included: Boat cruise in Hermanus / breakfast and lunch

Approximate Travel Time: 2 hours

Day 5 Oudtshoorn

After breakfast, we leave the coast of Hermanus and head inland, traveling through the mountainous region into the Klein Karoo. Our destination for the next two nights—the “ostrich capital of the world,” Oudtshoorn. On arrival at the lodge you have the afternoon at leisure to explore your new surrounds. Your family may choose to perhaps take part in optional activities such as the famous wild meerkat tours that offer the unique opportunity to see these animals that are part of the “shy five” in their natural environment. Biking and hiking, or a simple nature walk, are favorite pastimes; the nearby mountain passes and safe roads present the adventurous and fitness fanatics with the perfect setting for releasing all that bottled-up energy. You can also try canoeing on the Olifants River, fishing, or birding: 162 different bird species call this area home. Whatever your choice, your guide will assist you with all arrangements.

Included: Land transfer and afternoon at leisure / breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Approximate Travel Time: 4½ hours

Day 6 Oudtshoorn

Today your family will be delighted by Oudtshoorn. At a local ostrich farm, after a guided tour, adventurous family members can ride this large native African bird! If you prefer, watch the handlers race them along a dirt track, learn about their behavior and breeding, and hand-feed them. Then on to the famous Cango Caves, where you will be guided on foot through an otherworldly underground landscape beneath the Swartberg foothills. Exploring these cavernous spaces with their strange formations and rising columns of calcite will make for unforgettable family memories.

Upon return to your guest house late this afternoon, you are free to enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure with your family.

Included: Ostrich Tour and Cango Caves Excursion / breakfast and lunch

Day 7 Plettenberg Bay

Welcome to the heart of the Garden Route, Plettenberg Bay. After a scenic morning drive to this lovely destination, enjoy the afternoon as you like, relaxing on the pristine beaches or exploring the area more actively. Hike in old-growth forest, bike through wildlife reserves, canoe in the lagoons… whatever you choose to do, Plett caters to your pleasure. Your guide will help you decide the option that best suits your family.

Included: Land transfer and afternoon at leisure / breakfast

Approximate Travel Time: 2 hours

Day 8 Plettenberg Bay

Roam as you please on this free day to enjoy the area’s breathtaking scenery and multitude of outdoor activities. Among the adventures that await you: close encounters with animals at the Knysna Elephant Sanctuary; whale and dolphin cruises; beautiful beach walks in the Robberg Wildlife Reserve. Adrenaline-seekers in the family can test their skills at bungee jumping, surfing, or skydiving. Hiking trails through indigenous forest, horseback riding, paragliding, oyster tasting, scenic flights, and boat trips along the magnificent coastline are just some of the choices to make this an unforgettable day. With so much to choose from, you may not want to leave!

Included: Leisure day—optional activities of your choice and expense / breakfast

Day 9 Plettenberg Bay

Your next adventure beckons from the lush, leafy canopies of the Tsitsikamma National Park. This expansive coastal reserve is renowned for indigenous forests, dramatic coastline, and the Storms River Mouth. A guided nature walk takes you deep into the forest to discover local fauna and flora—including century-old trees such as yellowwood, hard pear, ironwood, kamassi—in true safari style. From a Khoisan word meaning “place of abundant or sparkling water,” Tsitsikamma is marked by deep river gorges that cleave the plateau as they journey to the sea, creating spectacular waterfalls. Return to the lodge in the late afternoon.

Included: Land transfer and nature walk in the Tsitsikamma Forest (about 2 hours) / breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Approximate Travel Time: 1 hour

Day 10 Amakhala Game Reserve

After breakfast, depart for the open, malaria-free grasslands of one of the finest private game reserves on the Eastern Cape: Amakhala. Experience the delights of the African bushveld while on safari, bushwalk, river cruise, or with a glass of wine from the veranda of your lodge. The warm hospitality of the 1820 settler-family descendants who manage the private game reserve add to the pleasure of this unique location. You may discover local secrets like the prehistoric Bushman burial ground, or the site of Africa’s most ancient dinosaur fossil finds. Possible sightings of lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, buffalo, cheetah, giraffe, zebra, and other residents of the veldt add to the excitement of this family-friendly adventure.

Included: Choice of two game-viewing activities (river cruise, game drive, nature walk, or night game drive) / breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Approximate Travel Time: 3 hours

Day 11 Amakhala Game Reserve

Another precious day to further explore this stunning private reserve with your choice of two game-viewing activities. On Amakhala Game Reserve’s 18,000 acres you are likely to encounter Africa’s Big Five as well as more elusive animals like hyena or bat-eared fox. Even the humbler smaller mammals, birds, and insects will inspire awe. Enjoy a game drive to cover more territory, or take a guided nature walk for a more intimate immersion in your personal wildlife experience. For a change of pace, relax and explore via boat cruise while meandering lazily along the Bushmans River. Or discover the heart-pounding excitement of a night game drive, tracking predatory hunters and elusive nocturnal creatures such as aardvarks, cape hares, and bush babies.

Included: Choice of two game-viewing activities (river cruise, game drive, nature walk, or night game drive) / breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 12 Port Elizabeth

After a hearty bush breakfast you’ll travel on to Port Elizabeth, one of South Africa’s largest cities and a major seaport along Algoa Bay. Here, as you are assisted in your transfer to the international airport for your flight home, you will learn why it is dubbed “the Friendly City.” From here you can fly back to Johannesburg or continue on to more exploration of this fascinating country.

Included: Airport departure transfer / breakfast

Approximate Travel Time: 1 hour

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Guides

Our Guides

Guests who travel frequently with CW Safaris know that our guides truly set us apart from other adventure travel companies. All CW Safaris guides are locally based and fluent in English, with exceptional knowledge of the region where you’ll be traveling. Their expertise in wildlife and natural history and their keen, deeply rooted understanding of life in the African bush will ensure your safety, well-being, and enjoyment throughout every safari. You could not be in better hands!

Here is a sampling of our extraordinary guides in South Africa:

Alan Thomas

Alan Thomas

Alan is a Cape Town native who studied a B.Com after finishing school and 2 years in the army. A runner and cyclist, Alan has cycled the Karakoram Highway from Islamabad to Kashgar as well as from Lhasa to Kathmandu via Everest base camp. Having travelled extensively in Europe, Asia, Southern Africa and Australasia to rid himself of wanderlust, he returned to his beloved Table Mountain and the Mother City. Tour guiding seemed a natural progression and for the last 5 years he has concentrated on taking guests around South Africa. When he is not guiding he is a fulltime toy for his little daughters.

Leonard Hoerikwagga hiking tour

Leonard McMillan

Leonard has fantastic experience leading hiking trips on Table Mountain having worked for Table Mountain National Parks for last four years. Having grown up on the Cape Flats in an impoverished environment, it was a life changing for him to participate in a school hike and then later be selected for the Hoerikwaggo guiding programme. He enjoys working in a more personalised environment where clients become friends and will go the extra mile for guests to provide that unforgettable personal service.

Erica Vink

Born in the North Western Cape on a Karoo sheep farm, Erica is an outgoing and energetic guide. She feels that it is a privilege to share the vibrancy and beauty of South Africa with guests and is both passionate and optimistic about the future of her country. Erica is fluent in English, Afrikaans, and German and received her education at the University of Stellenbosch. Her professional experience has ranged widely, from working in the wine lands in Stellenbosch to the medical industry, with many other roles in tourism in between. She is an active member of a local hiking club, a passionate advocate for sustainable tourism, and a volunteer mountain guide for Table Mountain National Park. When not guiding, she enjoys spending time with her spouse and two sons.

Sally de Jager

Sally Petersen

Growing up on a sheep farm in South Africa, Sally was infused with a love of the land, and dreamed of sharing her travel experiences with others. After graduating, she spent a few years traveling and working throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa. She was an “Adventurer of the Year” finalist after cycling from London to Cape Town to raise funds for Survival International. On returning to Cape Town, Sally pursued her dream career and became a qualified Nature and Tour Guide with the Dept. of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. Sally’s passion for her country is infectious and her knowledge, astounding.

Vanessa Nixon

Vanessa got the travel bug from her grandfather, a retired pilot with many exciting African travel tales. To celebrate her 21st birthday, she drove through nine African countries, crossing rivers, mud, snow, sand, mountains, herds of elephants, and baobab forest. She spent the next three years guiding camping safaris all over southern Africa, earning the top credentials that led to her joining CW Safaris. Vanessa loves sharing her travel experiences, including her strong ties to the Kalahari and its Komani bushmen. She believes each safari has a life of its own with unique adventures.

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