From Cape to Delta
DestinationSouth Africa: Cape Town, Ulusaba.
Botswana: Okavango Delta, Johannesburg
Cape Town, Sabi Sand, & Okavango Delta
One of Africa’s many magics takes place where nature at its most vivid and eloquent meets one of humanity’s highest arts: soothing, beautiful, joyfully expressive luxury. We tend to think of the two as unrelated, but they aren’t, as From Cape to Delta so enjoyably proves. We look up to gorgeous Table Mountain from the exquisite One&Only Cape Town, and wander in lovely little towns and vineyards backdropped by regal mountains in the Winelands. And we’re inspired by untroubled, unfiltered nature in the storied Okavango Delta while we laze productively at Gomoti Plains Camp, one of Africa’s loveliest luxury-encounters-wilderness camps.
I think I could turn and live with animals….I stand and look at them long and long….Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.Leaves of Grass
- Cape Town proudly presented, with emphasis on natural and civic beauty and pizzazz: Table Mountain, high-spirited Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, an uplifting Micato-AmericaShare project, the exciting and multi-chromatic Malay Quarter.
- Tastings and private tours in the beautiful Cape Winelands and eye-popping scenery and lovely little towns on the spectacular Cape Peninsula.
- Classic, enthralling game viewing in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, adjacent to Kruger National Park.
- Twenty-four hour service by expert guides and facilitators and Micato’s crack, one-of-a-kind Concierge Service.
- Three invariably amazing nights in the miraculous Okavango Delta, exploring its waterways and nearby plains, marvelling at its bountiful, varietal wildlife.
Our days in Cape Town will be eventful, another reason to savour our hotel, the Travel+Leisure multi-award-winning One&Only Cape Town on the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. Other reasons: One&Only’s renowned spa— to which you’re invited as Micato’s guest; its extraordinarily attractive interior design; its dedication to graceful hospitality; and the One&Only’s location on the high-spirited waterfront, complete with bang-up views of Table Bay, Devil’s Peak, Signal Hill, Lion’s Head, and of course Table Mountain, which may be, as David Livingstone saw it in 1841, draped “with its beautiful table cloth of fleecy clouds.”
Over the next few days we’ll take the cable car to the top of Table Mountain, which, we’re told, is six times older than the Himalaya and so strikingly flat because it was overlaid long ago by an ice sheet. We don’t have to be told that the iconic colossus is gorgeous and fascinating, but we may be amazed to learn that Table Mountain is home to more plant species than the entire British Isles. The whole Cape Peninsula, of which Table Mountain is just an albeit monarchical part, is as exciting and eye-boggling to lovers of flora as the Louvre is to lovers of art.
We’ll take a full-day tour of the scenically sublime peninsula, visiting the lighthouse atop rocky Cape Point and the ultra-consequential Cape of Good Hope, where for the past 500 years European sailors finally turn left, toward the hoped-for riches of the East. We’ll visit Cape penguins in their daily rounds, ramble in Victorian-flavoured Simon’s Town, and at dinner tonight we’ll be treated to thrilling South African interactive drumming, which must be seen and heard to be believed, and which will make true, bedazzled believers of us. And we’ll revel in a full-day ramble in the Cape Winelands, visiting wineries like Ernie Els Wines and the four-generation Kanonkop Wine Estate, visiting shiny Dutch and French Huguenot-heritage towns like Stellenbosch and Franschhoek and lazily lunching at the toweringly regarded Delaire Graff Estate restaurant.
And during our stay we’ll dine in the home of Micato’s Capetonian friends and hosts, great purveyors of welcome and lore, and we’ll pay an interactive visit to one of Micato-AmericaShare’s projects in Cape Town.
Suffice to say— until you experience it— that the Delta is in the topmost rank of world wonders (and more sweetly accommodating than most). It’s true throughout wilderness Africa, but here in the Okavango our friend Seamus O’Banion’s observation rings especially true: “Safari invites us into a world with just two cheerily ticking clocks. There’s a little clock for wake-up and let’s go on a game drive, and there’s a big clock, whose smallest increment is a hundred thousand years.”
We fly to Johannesburg from Cape Town, then north to Maun, Botswana and then into the Delta for three nights based from one of two superb Okavango Camps, Gomoti Plains Camp or Sable Alley, both models of everything a lovely, smartly designed, nature-graced Southern, or East, or Anywhere in Africa luxury safari camp should be. We explore the incredibly lush and wildlife-rich Delta by watercraft, 4-wheel drive vehicles, and on walks with Botswana’s famously enthusiastic, deeply informed guides.
From the Delta we fly to Johannesburg, where we’re whisked out to the verdantly pacific Sandhurst suburb and the Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa, a halcyon retreat where Nelson Mandela finished writing his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom.
A morning flight takes us to one of the jewels in Sir Richard Branson’s brightly plumed African crown: Ulusaba, marvellously ensconced in a private game reserve adjacent to Kruger National Park. Our lodgings at Ulusaba are imaginatively integrated— this is a Branson property, after all— into a lush forest beside a river bed whose watering hole is highly favoured by Ulusaba’s denizens. The Big Five and their equally fetching fellow fauna are in abundance in Ulusaba and Kruger, and our game drives (between luxuriating in the lodges’ wealth of amenities and exceptionally fine dining) are some of Southern Africa’s most enthralling. Much like the Okavango, Ulusaba is a place where even the most mission-centered of us might conclude that our most productive use of time is an after-lunch nap before embarking on a lovely afternoon game drive topped off with sundowners looking out at golden, guileless infinity.
After a morning game drive, exploring paradise one last time, we’ll fly by charter aircraft to Johannesburg, connecting with our return flights home.
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