The ‘Desert’ in Bloom includes Cape Town, The Cedarberg, Namakwaland and the Kalahari Dessert for 15 nights in South Africa. Note that for the Desert in Bloom you will need to book between early August and mid – September as this is the time when the desert becomes a blaze of colour.
After flying from New York (JFK) or London (Heathrow), you will arrive in Cape Town for three nights at Glen Avon Lodge. This is set in the beautiful and historic Constantia Winelands with some of the oldest wineries in South Africa. From here you will be able to explore Cape Town and the Peninsula.
You will then drive 3 hours to the Cedarberg region to stay for 2 nights at Bushmanskloof Wilderness Reserve which is a 40 minute drive from the centre of historic Clanwilliam. This is a wonderfully luxurious lodge set in the heart of the wilderness where you will be able to take a guided bush walk through the colourful flora to see ancient Bushman cave paintings. At the lodge you will be pampered with fine dining and splendid accommodation.
From here you will drive 3 1/2 hours through the sparsely populated Namakwaland to the little town of Springbok which was once the centre of copper mining in South Africa. 20 minutes outside the town you will stay at Naries Namakwa Retreat. Here you can stay in a variety of accommodation including some of the most unusual and luxurious thatched ‘huts’ we have encountered. The lodge prides itself on its fine dining and it is set among some wonderful scenery in an area rarely visited by international tourists.
After three nights at Naries, you will drive approximately 3 1/2 hours along excellent but empty roads across a geologically ancient plain to The Overlook in the pretty village of Keimoes on the banks of the Orange River. You will stay here for two nights and from here you can visit the spectacular Augrabies Falls where the mighty Orange River literally falls over the side of the high interior plain of South Africa as it makes its way to the Atlantic Ocean.
Travelling through dusty Upington, you will drive for approximately 2 hours to Rooipan Guest Farm. This is a very special experience and consistently is highly rated on Trip Advisor. The warm Afrikaans hosts will welcome you and they provide an interesting sunset drive across the semi desert viewing the strange flora of the region and spying some interesting animals. The next day you will drive into the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Approximately 2 hours drive along a sandy, gravel road from the entrance at remote Twee Rivieren, you will be met by a driver from !Xaus Lodge. This is pronounced with a click at the beginning which is a common feature of the language of the local San people who were previously called Bushman. You will see an amazing amount of animals in this dry region including the wonderfully majestic Kalahari Black Mained Lion. While you are at the lodge you will have game drive each day as well as being tutored in how the San survive in this fairly inhospitable wilderness.
After 3 nights at !Xaus, you will again stay overnight at Rooipan to break the journey to Upington Airport. This boasts one of the longest runways in the world and is one of the few locations outside the USA used by NASA in their space programme.
You fly back home from Upington via Johannesburg.
The package is for two people and includes all flights, car hire (4X4 vehicle with comprehensive insurance cover) and accommodation is quoted on a bed & breakfast basis in mainly 5 – star luxurious accommodation, and on an all inclusive basis in Bushmanskloof, Naries and !Xaus. Rooipan is on a Dinner Bed & Breakfast basis. Included in the price is the South Africa Sun booking fee and you will receive South Africa Sun’s unique Care Package.
Prices start from $9,000 (£6,800) for Two.