A country of undeniably unique experiences, where it’s possible to be in the presence of giraffes and hippos before breakfast is even served. Where by lunchtime you can have the surreal experience of being surrounded by hundreds of little penguins. Dinner comes with a glass of world-class wine, enjoyed on the patio of that very vineyard that produced it. South Africa is the country of wide open safaris with far more than just the “big 5”, underwater dives with great white sharks, white sand beaches that quickly morph into imposing mountains before fading into wide open plains.
A real experience in Africa sparks not just all five senses, but also imagination and emotions quite unlike any other place you’ll experience. Nature has been more than generous to this place, visible as much in its landscape, as in its wildlife at every turn. History has been tumultuous to say the least, emerging in recent years as a world leader in social progress and tolerance. Local South Africans have been rebuilding a country to be proud of, while creating museums and monuments to ensure the past won’t be forgotten.
Our 12-day experience through South Africa guarantees to showcase this country in all its glory. From the cosmopolitan, postcard-perfect city of Cape Town, to the expansive country estates of the Winelands, to the world famous safaris of Kruger park, before finishing in the big, busy metropolis of Johannesburg.
Check out the itinerary, dates, accommodation info, and more information about each stop along the route.
January 19, 2019 to January 30, 2019 – USD $2890.00
** – Trip prices based on twin share. Traveling solo? We’ll match you up with another solo traveler at no extra charge, or just pay a $670 USD single supplement for your own room!
Duration: 12 Days
Starts In: CAPE TOWN
Ends In: JOHANNESBURG
Deposit: $500 USD
All accommodation in hotels/guesthouses
Domestic airfare from Cape Town to Kruger National Park (MQP Airport)
All ground transfers between remaining destinations
Full day wine tasting in Franshhoek with transfers and hop-on/hop-off wine train tickets
Full day wildlife safari in open-air safari vehicle in Kruger National Park
Additional evening visit through Kruger National Park (dependent on arrival time to MQP)
Dinner with local family in Bo-kaap neighborhood of Cape Town
All 3 dinners at Kruger National Park
All 11 full breakfasts
Knowledgeable and fun DETOURS trip leader
DETOURS pre-trip guidebook
Group travel within South Africa
Over a decade of trip leading experience
Lunches and dinners not noted above
Activities not noted above
Optional tips for drivers/guides
South Africa’s location in the Southern Hemisphere means January to April are the sunniest and warmest months of the year, while June to August are the coolest months. That said, the Cape Town and Winelands area are really the only areas that have a big change, and the Kruger Park and Johannesburg areas are generally pleasant with clear skies any time of year. If you’re looking for the warmest weather and an escape from Northern Hemisphere winter, you’ll want to steer towards our January to April trip dates. Temperatures in January-April range from highs of low-30’s, while typical highs in June-August drop to around 15 celsius. That said, weather can sometimes be unpredictable anywhere in the world so it’s always good to pack a “just in case” outfit for the odd rainy day at any time of the year.
South African people are quick to point out how diverse their nation is – and it’s true! With 11 official languages in the country and a big visible mix of cultures, classes, and colors, it really is a place where many different types of people come together. When South Africa’s constitution was rewritten in 1994, it worked hard to make all people feel welcome and accepted in society. This includes the large LGBT population, even going so far as to legalize same sex marriage long before many other western countries. You’ll notice that the local people are very laid back and friendly, and are very welcoming to foreigners in the place their proud to call home. Don’t worry about a language barrier here – it would be very difficult to find someone who doesn’t speak fluent English!
Vegetarians may want to prepare themselves for the amount of meat that makes up a South African diet! While there are always options for vegetarians, it’s meat that makes up a good chunk of menus here. Detours doesn’t believe in limiting your choices by including all of your meals at pre-decided restaurants as part of the trip package. Instead, we include all of your breakfasts to start your day off, then we explore all of the different restaurant options available for lunch and dinner. This way we can eat when we want, where we want, and spend what we want! Your trip leader definitely has their favorite spots so if you’d like some advice on the best in each location, just check with them.
What to bring?
Our advice is simple. Pack your bag, then take half of those things out and leave them back home. It’s common to hear people wishing they’d packed less stuff, but we’ve never heard anyone complain that they didn’t bring enough. Even if you realize you forget to pack some crucial item you can always pick up a replacement once you arrive in South Africa. More packing information including a suggested packing list is included in your “Pre-trip Guidebook” which can be found on your “Your Trip” page after your trip registration.
We suggest just bringing your regular bank card from home and using the ATMs in South Africa to get cash. In our experience it’s cheaper than currency exchange shops here or even at home. South Africa has its own currency, the Rand (ZAR) and you likely won’t find shops or restaurants that will accept US Dollars or Euros. Credit cards are widely accepted in South Africa so it’s good to bring at least one on your trip too. Travelers checks are a thing of the past so we don’t recommend bringing them on any of our trips.
Just like in the United States, Canada, and some other places in the world, tipping is expected in South Africa for restaurant/bar service and any guides you may have along the way. We suggest adding somewhere between 12-18% gratuity to your bill for good service. Your trip leader will have advice for other services along the way including your safari guide.
We have pretty high standards when it comes to choosing our accommodations, and trust us, we’ve done plenty of room-sniffing, pillow-patting, bed-jumping and bathroom inspections to make sure we stay at quality spots. To be approved as a Detours accommodations provider, a hotel/guesthouse must: be locally owned (to support the local community), be in an amazing location (close to the hot spots), AND be gay-friendly. We won’t be staying in 5-star Ritz-Carltons but we also won’t subject you to anything we wouldn’t want to stay in ourselves. Clean and comfortable and approximately 4 stars, you can count on that!
Our trip leaders are a huge part of the success of your experience with us. All are gay, and all certified leaders must undergo a rigorous training routine that includes impromptu dancing tests, a few rounds of impossible tourist questions, and a thumbs-up from our Detours mother. Apart from these tough challenges, we require our leaders to know their stuff really, really well. Underneath their fun and quirky facades, our guides are experts and passionate about what they do. Don’t hesitate to ask them about anything that crosses your mind during your trip. If they don’t know the answer they’ll find it somewhere. Their job is to help ensure that this is your trip of a lifetime by taking the hassle out of your trip and enabling you to experience everything you came to South Africa for.
We do absolutely everything possible to avoid needing such a mundane awakening. A world without alarm clocks is one we want to be part of, and your “rise and shine” while in South Africa should come from the sound of a lion’s roar, or a hyena’s laugh. However, sometimes due to current train or flight schedules (and a morning safari!) we are required to make early departures, but we do everything we can to minimize this.
Extending Your Trip
For many people, 12 days in Africa just isn’t enough time. If you’re lucky enough to be able to stay longer, or if you decide to quit your job and become a lion tamer or rhino wrestler for the rest of your life, we’d be happy to help you extend (or cancel!) your return flight. We’ve been all over the area, so don’t think twice about asking where to go or what to do after your Detours trip is complete. Victoria Falls, the sand dunes in Namibia, Chobe Park in Botswana… many interesting destinations are close-by.
Our Detours groups are run with a minimum of 4 travelers and up to a maximum of 15 travelers. Ages of group members vary but almost all our travelers are in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. Whatever the age of the guys on our trips everyone’s already got something in common, an exciting new experience in a new country! Each group is led by a Detours trip leader who is there to ensure everything goes off without a hitch, allowing you to focus on having the time of your life! We welcome both men and women onto our trips although it’s important to know that most groups are 100% gay men.
A Little Bit About Modesty
The areas of South Africa that we’ll be visiting are very open-minded and most people will be very welcoming of homosexuality. That said, South Africa is a small pocket of gay friendly attitudes, in a continent known for quite the opposite. For that reason, we do suggest being cautious about the amount of excitement and passion you have for your partner or new local “friend”.
No problem! Don’t worry, at least half our travelers come solo and our trip will provide plenty of chances to meet great people both inside and outside of our group, including other solo travelers. As far as your accommodations go, you’ve got two choices. We can either pair you up with another solo group member in a two-bed room for no extra charge, or you can have your own room for a very reasonable surcharge. Check out the “Dates and Prices” page for more info on this.
Communicating with Home
Relax – we won’t keep you from updating your Facebook status and Tweeting zebra pics the whole trip. There is free WiFi all over the place and available at every hotel we stay at. If you’re more the “E.T.” type and would just rather call home, feel free to pick up a calling card at a corner store and make use of the many local payphones. Alternatively, if your mobile phone is “unlocked” you can pick up a local SIM card which is quite affordable and very simple to set up once you arrive in South Africa.
Further information can be found in your “Trip Preparations” guidebook which is available to you after your trip signup. However, if you have any further questions about your South African experience please visit our FAQ page or contact us any time.
Our 12 days together in South Africa will be surrounded by incredible wildlife, vistas, and opportunites to get out there and take part in some amazing activities! Some of your “must do” activities like a full day safari in Kruger Park and a full day of wine tasting in the Winelands is included in this trip, but there are plenty more opportunities to take part in too! Listed below are just a few of the activities that will be available to you during the trip. Our unhurried travel concept ensures you’ll have enough time to take advantage of as much (or as little!) as you’d like to make this your trip of a lifetime! Items below are just a taste, while more details can be found in our downloadable South Africa Activities Book.
Diving with Great White Sharks
Swimming with Seals
Hike / Cablecar to Table Mountain
Tour of Robben Island
Visit the Penguin Colonies of Bettys Bay or Simons Town
Additional Game Drives
Animal Refuge Centers
There are plenty of opportunities to keep as busy as you’d like during your time in South Africa and these are just a taste!
We don’t like staying in smelly shacks on our vacations, and we’re pretty sure you don’t either! After working hard for your trip, you deserve an enjoyable, comfortable place to wind down at the end of your day. We put a LOT of time into finding the perfect accommodation for your trip so after sniffing around, fluffing pillows, and testing showers we have narrowed down our favorite properties that won’t disappoint. Check out our approved accommodation to get an idea of the types of places you can expect to lay your head during your Detours trip.
Rockwell All-suites Hotel
Set in a quaint district full of bars and restaurants, this apartment hotel is a short walking distance from popular Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, and Two Oceans Aquarium.
Upscale, 1- to 3-bedroom apartments provide full kitchens, lounge/dining rooms with TVs, and balconies with views of Table Mountain, Signal Hill or Cape Town Harbour. All have free Wi-Fi; some have washer/dryers.
Amenities include an indoor pool, a gym and a spa, plus an elegant, airy restaurant. A slick piano bar features floor-to-ceiling windows and regular live entertainment.
Cascade Country Manor
The 4 Star Cascade Country Manor, with an enviable location in the Paarl Winelands is set against a backdrop of the Klein Drakenstein Mountains and offers guests authentic country-style hospitality in 15 upmarket rooms. Known for its superlative service, the venue also boasts an extensive range of luxury amenities including the on-site Cascade Spa and swimming pool. Surrounding the manor house are olive groves producing the fantastic oils the estate is renowned for and guests can truly look forward to meals here, as the menu features traditional favourites made from locally sourced and fresh ingredients. There is something for everyone in the vicinity from championship golf courses, museums and monuments to Butterfly World, the Drakenstein Lion Park, and myriad wine estates. There is a business centre on site and Wi-Fi internet access is available throughout.
KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
Hippo Hollow Country Estate
Located on the banks of the beautiful Sabie River in the Mpumalanga town of Hazyview, Hippo Hollow Country Estate offers luxury accommodation in a beautiful setting to guests wanting to explore the attractions of the region. These include the famous Kruger National Park, only a 10-minute drive away. Facilities at the lodge include two large swimming pools, beautiful indigenous gardens, a curio shop and public lounge with internet access. When not relaxing on the estate, guests can opt for game drives into Kruger, hot-air ballooning, elephant and horseback safaris, shopping or visits to nearby wildlife rehabilitation centres.
Peermont Metcourt Hotel
The modern façade of this Johannesburg hotel is complimented by a private & sheltered pool terrace which is set in a beautiful garden. The big perk of this property is its location at Johannesburg’s international airport, making your departure from South Africa quick and simple.
Simple, colourful rooms offer flat-screen TVs, desks and safes, as well as tea and coffeemaking facilities. Room service is available.
South Africa is actually a surprisingly affordable country once you’re here! Especially when compared to many European countries and North America. Your personal spending on the trip will include the costs for most of your lunches and dinners, entertainment, and shopping. We recommend that you budget $700 – $900 for all of your expenses during the 12 days. This amount should be plenty to cover all of your expenses while you’re here.
The low end of $700 budgets for eating all meals at restaurants, some souvenir shopping, doing activities, and some nightlife, but it is for a more budget conscious traveler.
$900 on the other hand is for someone who plans to be more careless with their spending, or because they want to do all of the activities available.
We must mention that there are also travelers who spend even much more than $900, but the bulk of that spending would come from spending extravagantly or shopping to the extreme!
47 Elizabeth Bay Road
Elizabeth Bay NSW
02 8667 3336