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Group Travel Planning Focus: South Africa

South Africa is made for groups. The country offers a kaleidoscope of activities and experiences, both cultural/historical and nature-based. From the battlefields of the Boer War to the struggle for freedom of apartheid; from the traditions of the native South Africans to the unique traditions of the Cape Malay, Indians and Afrikaners; from the stunning coastal regions to the high mountains to the famous game parks and wildlife – these stunning array of experiences will not disappoint, so start your group travel planning to South Africa now!

Here are our picks for “the big five” must-do experiences for the adventurous group travelling to South Africa:

Overnight in An Exclusive Game Lodge

South Africa is home to a diverse collection of wildlife regions and game reserves. Varying in landscapes from deserts to forests, wide open savannahs, rolling fertile hills and coastal plains, the Reserves teem with a jaw-dropping variety of wildlife, bird species, and unique natural habitats. For the ultimate bush experience, spending one’s nights in one of South Africa’s famous game lodges, for both the pampering and the accessibility to wildlife, is a must. With names like Sabi Sabi, Lions Sands, Leopard Hills, and Madikwe Hills conjuring up images from a colonial past, you will be wanting to pack your khakis and pith helmet! A typical day starts with an early morning game drive in our open-air safari vehicles to search out the multitude of game, including elephant, giraffe, rhino, lions, zebra, antelope, and warthogs. We then return to camp for a hearty breakfast and time to relax with our fellow group members and enjoy all the facilities of the lodge. Later in the afternoon we are off again on another drive on the lookout for wildlife until the sun sets, and then it’s back to our lodge for a much needed sundowner and sumptuous dinner.

Lion Sands Ivory Lodge, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Lion Sands Ivory Lodge
Become an Elephant Whisperer

As one of the world’s largest animals, the elephant is a thing of wonder. In South Africa’s famous Kruger National Park, elephant sightings are plentiful, but for a unique experience, become an elephant whisperer, if only for a short time, and visit a unique conservation centre for the opportunity to interact with 6 rescued African elephants. With our experienced handler, we will be able to touch, feed, and learn more about these gentle giants.

Elephant Interaction

Herd of Elephant at Kruger National Park, South Africa
Herd of Elephant at Kruger National Park
Walk in the Footsteps of Nelson Mandela

With such a complex history, the story of South Africa is not complete without embracing the life and times of its liberator, Nelson Mandela. To walk in his footsteps, an itinerary must include an in-depth tour of Soweto, on the outskirts of Johannesburg, and a visit to Robben Island, a short ferry ride away from downtown Cape Town. In Soweto, we will learn about the full impact of Apartheid with visits to the former homes of Winnie Mandela, Bishop Tutu, and Nelson Mandela. On Robben Island, our guide may be a former inmate, as we solemnly stroll the paths and prison hallways that echo the voices of the long struggle for South Africa’s future.

Sample Group Itinerary:
Walk in the Footsteps of Nelson Mandela

Robben Island and Table Mountain. Robben Island. Cape Town. Western Cape. South Africa
Robben Island and Table Mountain in Cape Town
Sniff, Swirl, and Sip in Wine Country

For any group that wants to indulge their passion for wine, then the Cape Winelands, north of Cape Town, is for them. Whether you’re a professional sommelier or just a lover of the grape in all its forms, the Cape Winelands – in the regions around Stellenbosch and Frankschoek – offer a wide selection of welcoming cellar doors specializing in both red and white varieties.  Wine tastings, behind the scenes touring, wine classes with the local vintner, strolling amongst the vines, and degustation meals are all possible in idyllic settings of old country estates and lush, rolling hills.

Sample Group Itinerary:
South Africa Wine Journey

Franschhoek Wine Tram, South Africa
Wine Tram through Franschhoek
Embrace Nature on the Garden Route

No trip to South Africa would be complete without a journey by road along the Garden Route – from Capetown to Port Elizabeth. It is a nature lover’s paradise, so why not see it all, including the 20 million year old formations in the Cango Caves in Oudtshoorn, the vast array of flora and fauna in the Featherbed Nature Reserve near Knysna, the sheltered beaches, and lagoons that dot the entire Indian Ocean shoreline along the route, along with the lush forests and dizzying views from various vantage points.

Sample Group Itinerary:
A South Africa Journey of Discovery

Wilderness Beach, Garden Route, South Africa
Wilderness Beach along the Garden Route

No group is too big, too small or too unusual for our group travel planning experts in Goway’s dedicated GroupsOnly division! For more information, please call 1-800-838-0618, or visit us at www.goway.com.

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