Wilderness and Winelands
Luxury lodging, luscious libations
A 12 Day Adventure
South Africa prides itself on its many spectacular and varied worlds, from Cape Town’s urban verve to wild, sun-lit dominions like the famed Sabi Sand Private Reserve, to pastoral (and culinary and oenophilic) masterpieces like the sublime Cape Winelands and the whole Cape province, one of only five places in the world with a true Mediterranean climate.
Wilderness and Winelands pays superbly paced tribute to those worlds in a mere but bountiful 12 days. We begin at one of the newest of Sir Richard Branson’s thrilling African creations, Ulusaba Safari Lodge in the Sabi Sand. Then we’re off to an idyl at Branson’s Mont Rochelle, in the heart of the cheery and pacifying Winelands. We end in a jazzy upbeat at Cape Town’s glamorous One&Only, named Africa’s number one hotel in a recent Condé Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice poll.
Day 1 On the way to South Africa
Day 2 Johannesburg overnight and orientation
Upon arrival in Johannesburg, we’ll be met and escorted to O.R. Tambo Airport’s InterContenental Hotel for an overnight stay. After a relaxing dinner, we’ll have a trip briefing.
Days 3 to 5 Richard Branson’s beautiful Sabi Sand Game Reserve
“At Ulusaba, we have set out to create the most beautiful game reserve in Africa,” says Sir Richard Branson. This website brims with beautiful safari lodges, camps, and game reserves, and we have our own favorites, but there’s no doubt that Branson & Co are giving Ulusaba their best effort, which—as you know—entails a lot of creative, sumptuous, high-spirited best.
We fly to Ulusaba Private Game Reserve—in the vast Sabi Sand Reserve, adjacent to Kruger National Park—on a short scheduled charter flight and immediately begin to savour its distinctive mix of down-home hospitality and thoughtful luxury. Our rooms in Ulusaba’s Safari Lodge are designed to give us an intimate feel for life in the bush (some are built tree-house style); we watch from our private verandah as animals stroll by on their way to the nearby watering hole, we swim in the lodge’s pool, dine al fresco (or restaurant style, or in our room), pay visits to Ulusaba Reserve’s well-populated animal troupes and solo stars by four-wheel drive vehicle or on guided walks, and maybe amble over to the the Lodge’s Aroma Boma Spa, which specializes in “Africology,” using time-honored local materials like rooibos, aloe, marula and African potato.
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Days 6 & 7 The supercalifragilistic Cape Winelands
We fly from Ulusaba’s private airstrip to Cape Town via Johannesburg and drive due west into the Winelands and our hotel, Mont Rochelle, another picture-pretty Branson gem, luxuriously well wrought, serene and welcoming, with the promise of “…a soft and golden morning, alert with the praise of birds,” as the great Elspeth Huxley wrote about a different, but wonderfully similar African place.
We spend the next couple of days exploring the Winelands, South Africa’s scenic treasure, graced with bang-up views that—with all due respect— out-drama Napa and Sonoma. We wander in the sparklingly kempt Dutch colonial towns of Stellenbosch, Paarl, and Franschhoek, dropping in on family-owned cheese farms and vineyards, lunching at the renowned Delaire Graff Estate (where, one guest wrote, “luxury meets stunning surrounds”). We’ll ramble in Paarl’s Spice Route, a brilliantly curated series of shops and attractions and artisan showcases, indulging in chocolate and wine pairings and innovative craft beer, and we’ll watch Liz Lacey and David Jackson blow decorative glass like John Coltrane blew the sax. And we’ll spend an afternoon at the fourth-generation Kanonkop Wine Estate, sampling its wares and roaming its collection of paintings, sculptures, and ceramics by some of South Africa’s most revered and excitingly upcoming artists.
Days 8 to 10 Cape Town’s natural and urban delights
Cape Town has proudly vaulted to the top tier of the world’s favourite cities. In 2014 it was ranked the world’s number one Place to Go in the New York Times’ annual list (we contribute our Capetonian praise elsewhere on this site). Cape Town is graced with a theatrical setting in a natural amphitheatre giving way to Table Bay, ringed with Devil’s Peak, Signal Hill, Lion’s Head, and the monarchical, ever-enchanting Table Mountain. The Cape Floristic region, a unique bit of natural magic, is home to more than 6,000 plants found nowhere else in the world. Cape Town’s cultural, artistic, and culinary life is perhaps Africa’s most bubbly. And our hotel, the magnificent One&Only, right on the fizzy Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, is stage centre on one of the continent’s greatest shows.
We’ll head over to the Cape Floristic Region, a scenery- and nature-lover’s nirvana, pay our respects to the penguins at Boulders Bay, and enjoy lunch at Harbor House, on the shores of False (but nonetheless very comely) Bay, looking up an impressive 6,500 feet at Du Toits Peak. We’ll take the aerial cableway to Table Mountain’s once-glaciated summit and delve into urban Cape Town and its environs, spending some time with Rosie at her stalwart Rosie’s Kitchen in Khayelitsha Township, where she feeds locals and children in need, and visit with Golden as he and his crew transform old cans into unforgettably gorgeous flowers. And throughout our Cape Town stay, our Micato Safari Director will be close by, introducing us to the city’s iconic and lesser-visited sights, proudly showcasing a city and region that, as the Times says, “takes your breath away.”
Days 11 & 12 Morning in Cape Town, then heading home
After a great O&O breakfast, we’ll have ample time to pack and freshen up at leisure before we’re escorted to Cape Town International for our flights homeward, arriving on Day 12.
“I thought…of Africa, not of a particular place, but a shape…and the shape of course, is roughly that of the human heart.”
— Graham Greene
Cape Town, South Africa
The One&Only Resort is, quite simply, one of the most luxurious addresses on the exclusive Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. Here, dedicated butlers discreetly attend to our every need. Epicures savour the legendary cuisine of Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa and the 6,000 vintages at the Wine Loft. Accommodations are a fetching fusion of modern glamour and classic South African style.
A private game reserve, owned by Sir Richard Branson, Ulusaba affords boutique hotel comfort at the threshold of South Africa’s wilderness splendour. The camp has superb facilities and luxurious rooms — that make it an ideal spot to view passing predators and wildlife from Kruger National Park.
Sabi Sand, South Africa
Franschhoek, South Africa
Another of Sir Richard Branson’s African gems, Mont Rochelle is a serene and soothing 22-room hotel nestled in some of South Africa’s most deliciously pastoral scenery: personality-rich mountains above, farmland and lovely vineyards all around, the famously sweet town of Franschhoek nearby.
Johannesburg, South Africa
This award winning hotel, located at the O.R. Tambo Airport, offers luxury and style including state-of-the-art facilities such as soundproofed rooms, spa and the Quills African restaurant.
Dates & RatesLand Arrangements, per person
Departs Wednesday, returns Sunday
Land Arrangements, per person (2017)
|Apr.-Sep||Dec. 11-31||Balance of Year|
To and from Home | Every date is a guaranteed departure
Jun. 28 – Jul. 09
Jul. 12 – Jul. 23
Jul. 26 – Aug. 06
Aug. 09 – Aug. 20
Aug. 23 – Sep. 03
Aug. 30 – Sep. 10
Sep. 13 – Sep. 24
Sep. 27 – Oct. 08
Oct. 11 – Oct. 22
Nov. 01 – Nov. 12
Nov. 15 – Nov. 26
Dec. 13 – Dec. 24
Dec. 27 – Jan. 07
To and from Home | New rates and dates may apply
Jan. 10 – Jan. 21
Jan. 31 – Feb. 11
Feb. 14 – Feb. 25
Feb. 28 – Mar. 11
Mar. 14 – Mar. 25
Mar. 28 – Apr. 08
May 02 – May 13
May 16 – May 27
May 30 – Jun. 10
Jun. 13 – Jun. 24
Jun. 27 – Jul. 08
Jul. 11 – Jul. 22
Aug. 08 – Aug. 19
Aug. 15 – Aug. 26
Aug. 22 – Sep. 02
Aug. 29 – Sep. 09
Sep. 12 – Sep. 23
Sep. 26 – Oct. 07
Oct. 10 – Oct. 21
Oct. 31 – Nov. 11
Nov. 14 – Nov. 25
Dec. 12 – Dec. 23
Dec. 19 – Dec. 30
Dec. 26 – Jan. 06
Make it Private
Wilderness and Winelands can be transformed into a fully private trip for a family or a group of friends. You’ll have your own Tour Director and your pick of departure dates. Contact our experts or your travel advisor to find out how to make this tour a private journey.
Options & Extensions
While you’re in the area, you might be interested in these fine extensions. Our travel specialists can work them into your itinerary.
An angel's eye view of a heavenly landscape
It is an effortless feeling usually reserved for dreams… natural, feather-light, exhilarating. There, looking out over a stunning landscape, from your peerless perch, in the calming silence of the African dawn… it’s hard to imagine it getting any better. And then, the star of the show—quite literally, in fact—pokes out from under its terrestrial cloak.
An Opportunity to Change a Life
Every Micato traveller is given the opportunity to change the course of a life. We invite guests to spend an extra day in Nairobi and visit one of our AmericaShare projects in the slums, learn of the challenges, meet the orphaned and vulnerable children and be inspirited to help.
A Rare and Breathtaking Experience
The soft mists prevail here as they did when Dian Fossey wrote her legendary book Gorillas in the Mist. And the creatures that drew Dr. Fossey are the same ones which beckon to us: rare and endangered Mountain Gorillas.
Cosmopolitan and captivating
A beautiful mix of natural and man-made pleasures, Cape Town is Africa’s treasure for good reason. This perfect post-safari sojourn yields a winning blend of top city sights, sophisticated dining, luscious winelands, and more.
Exploring the Isles of Spices
Zanzibar. It’s perfumed air caresses travellers with scents of the spices that have grown in abundance throughout the island since time began. Exotic and enchanting, this Indian Ocean isle allures travellers with a personality and pace all its own—just a short hop from mainland Tanzania, but a world away. The name alone conjures a romantic daydream. Meandering streets are lined with whitewashed houses and reminders of Swahili influence; the air is redolent of the spices grown here for centuries. From the lush Jozani Forest to bustling Stone Town, Zanzibar is an island paradise ripe for exploration.