Wine Safari to South Africa, with Shriti Plimpton of Fence Stile Winery
February 11-February 23, 2024
A wine-lover’s tour of South Africa at a perfect time of year. Summer temperatures and sunny skies in Cape Town are a pleasant alternative to winter at home. We’ll visit some of the country’s premier wine producers, experience nature up close on safari, discovery important historical events, and soak up some South African sunshine.
This tour is hosted by Shriti Plimpton, winemaker and owner of Fence Stile Winery in Excelsior Springs Missouri.
Your tour includes:
- 11 nights accommodations in South Africa
- 3 nights Stellenbosch
- 2 nights Cape Town
- 3 nights Franschhoek
- 3 nights on Safari at Kariega Nature Reserve
- Air-conditioned motor coach transportation
- Meals on tour, including
- Breakfast each morning
- Eight dinners
- Seven lunches
- Sightseeing, wine tasting and admissions as indicated in the tour itinerary
- Pre-tour stopover options in Dubai
This 11-night tour is limited to 14-16 participants.
Items not included in your tour costs:
- Personal items
- Some meals
DAY 1: Sunday, February 11th
We’ll begin the tour in the town on Stellenbosch, our base for the first three nights of the tour. Starting with three days in wine country, move to Cape Town for a bit of local culture and history, then back for three days in Franschhoek wine country. Kansas City departures via Atlanta on Delta Airlines arrive in the early evening. We’ll meet our guide and driver and proceed to Stellenbosch, just 40 minutes away. We’ll check into the hotel, followed by a late, light dinner. Overnight Stellenbosch (D)
DAY 2: Monday, February 12th
Touring wineries in and around the town of Paarl. We’ll start the day with a short drive to the North for a visit at Nederburg Winery for a food and wine pairing lunch. Afterward, we’ll visit Babylonstoren for a self-guided tour of the grounds and fabulous garden before we meet at the cellar for a tour and wine tasting. We’ll return to Stellenbosch in the late afternoon for time to do a little shopping or just rest up. Dinner is on your own this evening. Overnight Stellenbosch (BL)
DAY 3: Tuesday, February 13th
Another day of wine tasting in the Stellenbosch area first with a visit to the Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden for an opportunity to stretch your legs. We’ll then visit Uva Mira Winery for their collection tasting a selection of meats and cheeses. Next visit is to Rust en Vrede Winery for a winemakers’ lunch with pairings. Return to the Stellenbosch Hotel late afternoon. Dinner is hosted at 7:00 PM near the hotel. Overnight Stellenbosch (BD)
DAY 4: Wednesday, February 14th
We depart our Stellenbosch Hotel in the morning for Cape Town, a distance of about 35 miles. En-route, we’ll take the cableway up to the top of Table Mountain. We’ll take about 90 minutes to wander/hike/walk and enjoy the views. There are two cafés on top to grab a quick bite.
In the afternoon we’ll take part in a walking tour of the city center, which includes: Bo-Kaap, Company’s Gardens, Greenmarket Square, and Bree, Long, and Kloof Streets. We’ll arrive at our waterfront hotel about 3:00 PM. You’ll have a bit of free time late on the waterfront this afternoon. Dinner is scheduled nearby at 7:00 this evening. Overnight Cape Town. (BD)
DAY 5: Thursday, February 15th
We’ll be on the first ferry to Robben Island this morning for a tour of the museum and prison complex known primarily for its association with Nelson Mandela. After an introductory tour of the island, you’ll have a tour of the prison with either a former guard or prisoner as your guide of the complex.
You’ll have free time to enjoy lunch and the waterfront area in the afternoon. In the early evening, we’ll journey to the seaside community of Camps Bay for a sunset seafood feast. Return to the hotel after dinner. Overnight Cape Town. (BD)
DAY 6: Friday, February 16th
We depart the Victoria & Albert Waterfront shortly after breakfast for a drive to the Boulders Beach Penguin Colony. We’ll spend about an hour in the park. Then we’re off to Franschhoek, a wine town with a decidedly French feel. En-route, we’ll stop at Waterford Estate for a Reserve Tasting with charcuterie. We’ll arrive in Franschhoek about 3:00 PM for check in. Your afternoon is free to explore the town before meeting for dinner in town at 7:00 PM. Overnight Franschhoek (BLD)
DAY 7: Saturday, February 17th
We’re back to serious wine tasting Our first winery visit of the day is at Stonybrook. We’ll have a tasting of five of their wines. The second visit today will be at Boschendal Wine Estate for a premium wine tasting with cheeses, charcuterie, and local breads. Both of these wineries are making award winning wines. You’re on your own for dinner this evening. Overnight Franschhoek (BL)
DAY 8: Sunday, February 18th
Today is an independent day with tickets on the Franschhoek Wine Tram that runs through the valley. Take your pick between eight different lines, each visiting a selection of wine estates showcasing a separate part of the Franschhoek Valley.
The Hop-on Hop-off experience allows you to curate and plan your own day. You get to choose how long you spend at each spot (within the line schedule, of course), where you eat, where you drink, and the activities you partake in.
Your experience begins at either the Franschhoek Terminal, where you can grab a coffee, and browse merchandise while waiting for your journey to start.
From the terminals, you will be transported around your selected line’s loop of stops on a combination of double-decker tram and open-air tram-bus, allowing you to disembark when you like. Dinner is on your own this evening. Overnight Franschhoek (B)
DAY 9: Monday, February 19th
We’re scheduled on a mid-day flight from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth to travel to the Eastern Cape and our safari experience. The flight takes about an hour, with a bus ride to the preserve about another hour. We’ll arrive the Kariega Nature Reserve about 4:00 PM in time for an orientation to the property and our safari activities for the next 2 ½ days. Ukhozi Lodge is all inclusive, which means that your welcome cocktail in the main lodge is just waiting for you. Dinner will be in the main lodge this evening. We’ll have a welcome cocktail this evening followed by dinner. (BD) Overnight Ukhozi Lodge
DAY 10: Tuesday, February 20th
Your first safari day begins with an early morning wake up call for the morning game drive. We return to the lodge in late morning for a big breakfast, followed by free time. Lunch is served shortly afternoon noon. Your afternoon game time takes place just before dinner. Most of the action in the preserve takes place in the morning or late afternoon/early evening. Dinner takes place at the lodge later this evening. Overnight Ukhozi Lodge (BLD)
DAY 11: Wednesday February 21st
Today is similar to the previous safari day. There are two game drives offered each day. You may choose to opt out of one or more. It’s almost a guarantee that the one time you stay back is the one where you get to see lions up close. I speak from experience on this. Overnight Ukhozi Lodge (BLD)
DAY 12: Thursday, February 22nd
We’ll depart the lodge shortly after breakfast (and another game drive if there’s interest) for the hour-long drive to Port Elizabeth and the flight to Cape Town. We’ll have time to visit the boardwalk and beach in Port Elizabeth before taking our local flight back to Cape Town. You’ll pick up your baggage at the domestic terminal, then check in for your late evening departure on Delta to Kansas City. You’ll have adequate time after check in to stop for a bite in the terminal before boarding. (BL)
DAY 13: Friday, February 23rd
Your flight arrives in Kansas City late morning.
The choice of safari camp was made based on access from Cape Town and the Cape Winelands, as well as the overall quality and guest reviews. Reserves on the Eastern Cape are malaria-free. This safari camp selected offers deluxe accommodations, exceptional cuisine, inclusive of drinks, knowledgeable guides and excellent service.
I’ve chosen a game reserve and safari experience in a Malaria-free zone.
Your safari stay includes your meals, and two safari excursions per day. We need to set those up the evening before each day’s tours. Alcohol is not included, but is available for purchase.
HOTELS ON OUR ITINERARY
Cape Town: Radisson Red
Stellenbosch: Oude Werf Hotel
Franschhoek: Protea Hotel Franschhoek
Getting There: Flights to Cape Town
Getting There: Flights to Cape Town
Since most tour participants are coming from Missouri, schedules from Kansas City (MCI) are suggested here. If you are originating from another city, I can arrange flights that coincide with these flights.
Delta offers the best schedule and fare with one-stop connections to Cape Town. These flights connect each direction in Atlanta. It’s suggested that you opt for the longer connection time on your outbound flight. The shorter connection allows for just under an hour. That’s risky if your first leg is delayed at all.
The Delta arrival comes in at 6:00 PM, so a light meal would be available in the evening. Here are the suggested flights to book for this itinerary:
DL 2908 10FEB24 MCI/ATL 12:27 PM 3:23 PM
DL 210 10FEB24 ATL/CPT 8:50 PM 6:15 PM +1
DL 239 22FEB24 CPT/ATL 10:50 PM 8:10 AM +1
DL 2908 23FEB24 ATL/MCI 10:15 AM 11:27 AM
British Airways publishes a schedule as well, but with a double connection via Dallas and London. Delta is shorter and more direct. I anticipate fares to range from $1500-$1800, depending on when you purchase your tickets.
Weather in Cape Town for January
Expect ideal conditions with highs around 80, lows in the mid-60s, with low precipitation and cloud cover. It’s hard to imagine a better time to visit.
You’ll need a passport with at least 30 days validity from your departure from the country. Considering that many of the countries you’ll connect through will require 3-6 months of validity, make sure your documents are up to date. No visa is required at this time.
This tour is based on a maximum of 16 participants. Share cost, based on double occupancy, is $5,650 per person. The single supplement is $1,000. These prices assume payment is made by Visa/MasterCard. Guests opting to pay by check in lieu of credit card, may take a credit of $160 per person. Price does not include flights from the USA, but assistance is booking assistance is available for anyone needing it.
Complete the online registration. Once that is done, a non-refundable deposit of $2000 is due within seven days of confirmation. Guests paying by check should send payment to the Woodinville office. Guests paying by Visa/MasterCard will receive a secure link to process payment online. Balance of tour payment is due October 15, 2023. Assistance with booking flights is available.
What if I need to cancel my flight, tour or cruise?
Because payments are non-refundable, it’s strongly suggested that you consider travel insurance for this investment. The exception to this is in the event that a replacement is found to take the place of a cancelling party.
Both of the companies listed below have a policy rate calculator online. Enter the cost of your tour and personal data to receive a no-obligation cost estimate. Two recommended companies are:
Cancellation insurance will range in price based on the cost of your travel and the age of the applicant. Get a quote at the websites above before making a purchase. If you have a pre-existing condition to cover, you usually must purchase your policy within 2 weeks of the initial deposit.
Make Your Reservation!
If you have any questions about this tour, please contact Brad Cilley at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 425 375 2676.