WHISKY, WINE & WONDERS OF SOUTH AFRICA

Cultural tour & Safari of South Africa with Johanne McInnis

Johanne McInnis

WHISKY LASSIE, Johanne McInnis, is a well known and one of the leading spirits personalities in Canada. Not only is she a freelance spirits writer, panelist and spirits judge with over 30 years of experience as a public speaker, she also happens to have a great nose for wine, gin and whiskies. Add to that her educational background in distillation and the fact that she regularly travels the world, touring Scotland, Kentucky and other spirits-driven areas of the globe since 2007. Passionate, enthusiastic and highly entertaining, Johanne loves to share her stories and knowledge and share with others fascinating journeys of discovery. She will be the spirit expert on this tour accompanied by a local tourist guide, who will give us a South African perspective on history, culture and the arts. Enjoy an unforgettable experience of the Whiskeys, Wines and Wonders of South Africa.

Tour Information
Tour Duration : 14 days
Min. Tour Size : 12 persons
Max. Tour Size : 16 persons
Tour Price (From) : US$ 3980
Includes international air
Day 01: September 14, 2020: Arrive Johannesburg
Day 02: September 15, 2020: Johannesburg
(B, D)
Day 03: September 16, 2020: Johannesburg/The Waterberg Biosphere 
(B, L, D)
Day 04: September 17, 2020: The Waterberg Biosphere  Game activities
(B, L, D)
Day 05: September 18, 2020: Johannesburg/Cape Town (flight)/Hermanus
(B, D)
Day 06: September 19, 2020: Hermanus
(B, L)
Day 07: September 20, 2020: Hermanus/Franschhoek/Stellenbosch
(B)
Day 08: September 21, 2020: Stellenbosch
(B, D)
Day 09: September 22, 2020: Stellenbosch/Cape Town
(B)
Day 10: September 23, 2020: Cape Town
(B)
Day 11: September 24, 2020: Cape Town
(B, L)
Day 12: September 25, 2020: Cape Town
(B)
Day 13: September 26, 2020: Cape Town
(B, D)
Day 14: September 27, 2020: Depart Cape Town
(B)
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Day 01: September 14, 2020: Arrive Johannesburg

Upon arrival at Johannesburg Airport we are met and transferred to our hotel. Balance of the day is free.

Overnight: Garden Sandton Hotel, Johannesburg (2 nights)

Day 02: September 15, 2020: Johannesburg

After breakfast at our hotel we begin with a full day exploring this fascinating city. We start with a visit to Soweto and the Apartheid Museum that was opened in 2001. It is acknowledged as the pre-eminent museum in the world specializing in 20th century South Africa and its Apartheid history.  We then visit Vilikazi Street, said to be the only street in the world where two Nobel Peace Prize winners lived, as both Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu were residents of this street.  We also visit the Mandela House Museum and the Hector Pieterson Memorial.

Our first taste of the whisky and wineries of South Africa occurs today with a visit to the Whisky Brothers, as we spend the evening in the company of the Whisky Brothers. Here they stock some 1,250 whiskies from over 20 different countries. The dedicated team at Whisky Brothers will guide us through a 60-minute 5-Nations tasting.  This will focus on the ‘New World’ whisky producers from Taiwan, France, India and, of course South Africa.  Our extremely informative hosts will make the tasting fun and informal.  This will be followed by our welcome dinner at a restaurant in Maboneng. (B, D)

Day 03: September 16, 2020: Johannesburg/The Waterberg Biosphere 

A 2-hour drive will get us to the Mabula Private Game Reserve. On arrival we will enjoy lunch, followed by some free time to relax before our first game drive. Situated amidst the towering Waterberg Mountains in Limpopo Province, the Waterberg Biosphere, as the name suggests, serves as a water reservoir for the region. Renowned for its rugged beauty, the landscape is characterized by low-lying mountain ranges and escarpments, as well as a network of streams, rivers and lakes. It is the home of South Africa’s first-ever savannah biosphere reserve. Safaris are realized in 4-wheel drive vehicles and we get to watch a wide range of animals including zebra, giraffe, eland, ostrich, cheetah, honey badgers and the Big Five. The reserve is also known for its birds and other wildlife. Optional activities include evening and night safaris, guided walks, and adventure safaris on horseback or quad bikes. We may even try to view the lodge from a hot air balloon!.

Overnight: Mabula Game Lodge (2 nights) (B, L, D)

Day 04: September 17, 2020: The Waterberg Biosphere  Game activities

Mabula Private Game Lodge offers a traditional outdoor experience for visitors wanting to brave the African wild and we will have the chance to get up close to nature and encounter a new dimension in bush life. Today we will have a morning and afternoon game drive, with time in between to allow us to join an optional activity. All meals will be served at the lodge. This 12,000 ha of this malaria-free reserve is home to an abundance of wildlife and birds, including the world famous Big Five - lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo. (B, L, D)

Day 05: September 18, 2020: Johannesburg/Cape Town (flight)/Hermanus

After breakfast, we drive to Johannesburg Airport for our flight to Cape Town. Upon arrival, we are welcomed by our specialized guide for the Garden Route’s Whale Coast and Winelands portion of our trip. A scenic drive takes us to Hermanus, known for sightings of Southern Right Whales, which visit every year between May and November and can usually be spotted from the cliff tops during this time. We will enjoy a fine food and a wine pairing meal at a local restaurant.

Overnight: Windsor Hotel, Hermanus (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 06: September 19, 2020: Hermanus

An interesting day ahead. Today we have a choice of several early morning optional activities to start our day. The brave solus on this tour may choose an optional shark cage diving experience from Gansbaai (cost US$ 185 per person) or we may embark on a whale watching boat excursion (cost US$ 75 per person). Later in the day we will visit the Hemel en Aarde Wine Valley to enjoy a lovely wine tasting with lunch. This setting is often referred this to as “heaven on earth”. Time permitting, we will visit the Curio and Craft market at the Old Harbour Market Square in the town centre, which is worth a visit for those looking for some African crafts and gifts to take back home. Our evening is free and we may enjoy the local cuisine at one of the many restaurants in the area. (B, L)

Day 07: September 20, 2020: Hermanus/Franschhoek/Stellenbosch

After a leisurely morning in Hermanus, we take a scenic drive via Franschhoek to Stellenbosch, located in the heart of the beautiful Cape Winelands. We will visit two wineries in the Franschhoek Valley for wine tastings with time for lunch (at own expense) at Franschhoek. Franschhoek, meaning 'French Corner' was founded by French Huguenots, and the fertile valley boasts a rich heritage, as exemplified by the Huguenot Memorial Museum and the well-preserved Cape Dutch architecture. The town’s proximity to Cape Town allows for pleasant day trips, during which we can explore the area’s many world-class wine estates, excellent restaurants or browse the quaint, upmarket boutiques strewn along the town’s lovely tree-lined avenues.
This evening at our hotel we will experience a whisky tasting at the hotel bar. The Cedarwood Lounge & Bar is home to one of the most definitive collections of Single Malt Scotch Whiskies in South Africa and is frequented by self-confessed Whisky lovers from all over the globe. Offering perfectly paired Single Malt Whiskies with world-class noshes will make for an exclusive gastronomic experience

Overnight: Devon Valley Hotel, Stellenbosch (2 nights) (B)

Day 08: September 21, 2020: Stellenbosch

Today we enjoy a full day tour of the beautiful town and the surrounding wineries of Stellenbosch. Resting at the foot of the Boland Mountains, the Cape Winelands is a region renowned for producing some of the world’s finest wines. The breathtakingly beautiful landscape boasts incredible mountain scenery and numerous luxury wine farms laden with vineyards stretching across lush fertile valleys. The idyllically situated Stellenbosch and its peaceful country retreat is one of the oldest towns in South Africa, and we can look forward to a variety of wonderful activities including a walking tour of the historical Stellenbosch town centre and sampling a wide selection of world-class wine at a historic Cape Dutch farmstead as well as two other wine estates. While wine is undoubtedly the highlight of the region, this place is also known for its delicious food and wine pairings.  In the evening enjoy a Whisky and Food Pairing during our 4-course dinner at our hotel. (B, D)

Day 09: September 22, 2020: Stellenbosch/Cape Town

After breakfast we take a scenic drive to Cape Town. Resting at the confluence of the Indian and Atlantic oceans, sandwiched between the slopes of the iconic Table Mountain and the glistening sapphire waters of Table Bay, the exceptionally scenic city of Cape Town is in a class of its own. Cape Town boasts rich culture, a vibrant nightlife, in a cosmopolitan atmosphere surrounded by breath-taking landscapes. With its bustling harbour, world-class beaches, top-notch vineyards, and its mountainous surroundings brimming with diverse flora and fauna, Cape Town consistently captivates the hearts of all those who visit.

Overnight: Radisson Blu le Vendome Hotel, Cape Town (5 nights) (B)

Day 10: September 23, 2020: Cape Town

Our full-day guided exploration of Cape Town starts with a morning city tour. We will visit Table Mountain by cable car (weather permitting). A short 20-minute drive will take us to the Constantia Winelands, where we visit the oldest wine estate in South Africa, followed by a visit to a more modern estate in the area after lunch (at our own expense) with wine tasting.  This evening we will be treated to a Whisky tasting experience (Connoisseurs Choice) at the Bascule Bar, the largest Whisky Bar in the Southern Hemisphere, featuring a collection of over 450 whiskeys from around the world! (B)

Day 11: September 24, 2020: Cape Town

We spend another day exploring the Cape Town region with a scenic full-day tour of the beautiful Cape Peninsula. Highlights include spectacular Chapman's Peak, offering amazing views of the cliffs and the Atlantic Ocean from Cape Point; the Cape of Good Hope, the most South Western Tip of Africa and a visit of the penguin colonies of Boulders Beach. We will have a picnic lunch at Cape Point Vineyards including wine tasting.  Evening free to enjoy on our own. (B, L)

Day 12: September 25, 2020: Cape Town

Today we enjoy a guided full-day tour to Wellington, with a special visit to the James Sedgwick Whisky Distillery for a tour and tasting. Set in the scenic Western Cape Winelands, the little town of Wellington is only a 45-minute drive from Cape Town. Its Idyllic position makes it an excellent base from which to explore the beautiful surrounding area, which includes the Hawequa Mountains, an array of wine estates, known for their award-winning wines and fine brandy. The James Sedgwick Distillery is home to many firsts for the South African whisky industry: the first whisky brand, the first 100% South African whisky blend and the first single malt and grain. It is the only commercial whisky distillery in Africa, handling the entire whisky process on-site from milling the raw ingredients through to maturation and blending, proving itself worthy of the countless awards and accolades. (B)

Day 13: September 26, 2020: Cape Town

Today we will visit Robben Island, the world’s most famous prison. This is where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 of his 27 years in captivity. Robben Island is in Table Bay, about 7 Km west of the coast of Bloubergstrand, Cape Town. To date, three former inmates of Robben Island have gone on to become Presidents of South Africa: Nelson Mandela, Kgalema Motlanthe, and Jacob Zuma. Our tour will also show us Mandela’s cell. Robben Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This activity will be subject to weather conditions and in case of bad weather, we will embark on a Mandela-focused tour. In the evening we enjoy our farewell dinner and an African Extravaganza drumming at the Gold African Restaurant. (B, D)

Day 14: September 27, 2020: Depart Cape Town

After enjoying some of the finest whiskeys, wines and food South Africa has to offer, our tour comes to an end. Hotel check out time is at 11:00 AM and we will be transferred to the airport for our departure flight. Please contact us for optional extensions both within South Africa and to other African highlights such as Victoria Falls, the Okavango Delta or Namibia. (B)

B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Departure Dates & Prices

We accept payments in US$, CA$ as well as in other convertible currencies like EUR, AUD and GBP. Tour prices have been costed in US$. CA$ price shown below is an indicative amount reached at by using the conversion rate at the time of web posting and will be applicable if there is no change in the conversion rate. Should the currency conversion rate change, the US$ pricing will prevail. Bestway Tours & Safaris offers a conversion rate protection. Once full payment has been received and no modification has been made to the tour itinerary, we will honour that rate. For complete payment procedures, please click here

2020 Per Person on
Twin Sharing
Single Room
Supplement
Estimated Airfare (FROM)+
Departure(s) East Coast West Coast
September 14, 2020 US$ 3890 US$ 795 US$ 845  US$ 945
2020 Per Person on
Twin Sharing
Single Room
Supplement
Estimated Airfare (FROM)+
Departure(s) East Coast West Coast
September 14, 2020 CA$ 5252 CA$ 1074 CA$ 1050  CA$ 1200


Notes

Tour deposit is US$ 1000 per person. Balance payable June 10, 2020

Tour deposits:
- In order to secure your spots a deposit of US$ 1000 per person has to be paid.
- Balance payment is due 90 days prior to the start date of the tour.
- Participants are highly recommended to protect themselves with a trip cancellation and emergency medical insurance.
- Insurance details may be obtained here



Inclusions


Tour Price Includes
  • Accommodation as mentioned or similar, including hotel taxes
  • 23 Meals as mentioned (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • Johannesburg/Cape Town airfare
  • Game safaris using 4x4 private jeeps including game park fees
  • 5 Whisky tastings
  • 6 Wine tastings and pairing with meals
  • All sightseeing and transfers using private airconditioned transportation
  • Entrance fees to all sites, whisky/wine estates
  • Services of a local English speaking Tour Guide
  • Accompanying host The Whisky Lassie
Not Included
  • International airfares (please ask Bestway Tours & Safaris for assistance)
  • Meals other than those specified in the tour itinerary
  • Insurance/visas (Travel Insurance, highly recommended please click here for details)
  • Tips/gratuities to tour guides and drivers (estimated at $ 150 per person)

Participants

This tour operates on a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 16 participants

Customised Itinerary

If you would like to have a tour on dates other than the above ones or with a customised itinerary, please contact us and we will be happy to work out an exclusive program for you.

Contact Info
You may e-mail us at bestway@bestway.com or call 1-604-264-7378. Residents of U.S.A./Canada may call us toll free at 1-800-663-0844.

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